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VOL. I. 


Although several beautiful Lives of St. Francis Xavier exist — 
some of them in our own language — I do not think that any 
excuse will be required for the attempt made in the present 
work to produce a new Life, which may satisfy in some sort 
the legitimate requirements of our own time. We are accus- 
tomed to set a higher value than men of former generations 
on those indications of personal character, in the case of great 
men and conspicuous Saints, which are to be found in their 
own words, in their letters, in anecdotes which set them fami- 
liarly before our eyes, and the like. The Catholics of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries would take the letter of 
a Saint, for instance, of St. Teresa or St. Francis Xavier, and cut 
it to pieces for the sake of making up a signature out of letters 
from separate words, or forming some holy text in the Saint's 
handwriting in the same way. Many valued such relics as these, 
without caring much for the actual words and thoughts of the 
Saint, which they were often content to have in a translation, 
or a paraphrase which preserved the general sense, but not 
the peculiar colouring and incommunicable character of the 
mind from which the words proceeded ; we, on the other hand, 
value above all things the minute traits of character and 
1 To the First Edition. 

viii Preface, 

shades of feeling which can only be discerned by close and 
faithful study of the mind and heart of some one in whose 
history we are interested, and we set the highest store on such 
biographies as make this study most easy to us, by putting 
before us in its native simplicity whatever comes to us most 
immediately from such a heart and mind. 

There can be no doubt, that if St. Francis Xavier had lived 
within the present century, the first thought of his biographers 
would have been to collect every detail within reach, even as to 
the external circumstances and scenery of his career, and that, 
in particular, every scrap of writing that ever proceeded from 
his pen would have been religiously preserved and examined, 
even if it had not been published. Such was not the way in 
which biographies were written in the generation which suc- 
ceeded that of Francis Xavier and Ignatius, and the lives 
which that generation and subsequent generations produced 
differ in proportion from those which we require. At this 
distance of time, and under all the circumstances of the case, 
it might be impossible, even for one with far greater oppor- 
tunities than it is my lot to possess, to supply fully what is 
to us a sort of deficiency in earlier lives of the Saint. A very 
large number of his letters have perished altogether. Those 
which remain to us exist chiefly in a Latin translation, which 
appears to have the merit of conscientious fidelity, but which 
must certainly fail to give us much of the fire, much of the 
delicate grace, much of the intense tenderness, which must 
have breathed in every line of the originals. Moreover, a 
great many collateral facts, which would render the letters more 
complete as an integral portion of his biography, have cer- 
tainly been lost to us. There are other accessories which 

Preface, ik 

might be supplied, even at the present day, but which I am 
painfully aware are wanting in the present work. A knowledge 
of India and the East, including Japan, an acquaintance with 
the scenes of his labours, with the living effects which still 
remain of his preaching, notably in the south of India, with 
the unchanged and unchangeable aspects of nature in the 
gorgeous world of the Eastern Isles, with the half civilized 
and half savage tribes to whom he preached, and of whose 
manners he has given so striking an account — these and other 
similar qualifications would have enabled me not only to ren- 
der the picture more full and attractive, but to supply many an 
absolute deficiency, and explain much that is now hardly free 
from obscurity. 

No one will rejoice more heartily than myself should any 
future writer, possessed of such qualifications, undertake to 
write a more complete life of the Saint than this can pretend 
to be. In the mean time, it may serve to the glory of God 
and the honour of St. Francis to have done that which has 
been now attempted : that is, to give a clear narrative of his 
life as it stands in the ordinary biographies, and to use the 
whole of the letters and fragments which have survived to us, 
in the form in which we possess them, to illustrate the life and 
to speak to lis of his character for themselves. The only former 
biographer of St. Francis who has made much direct use of the 
letters is Pere Bouhours, whose work is known in England from 
its translation by Dry den. But our acquaintance with the let- 
ters has been increased since his time, and he did not use those 
which he had as fully as might be wished. He had the ad- 
vantage, which is shared by the excellent Italian writer Massei, 
over the earlier biographers, Turselline and Lucena, of writing 

X Preface, 

after the Processes had been completed and largely used by 
Bartoli, who, in his Asia, has really furnished the storehouse 
from which all subsequent authors have supplied themselves. 
Massei, who wrote at Rome, where the documents on which 
the Processes were founded exist, tells us that he consulted 
them independently, and that he has here and there added 
details from them which Bartoli had passed over. But in the 
main the last named author has furnished the materials, derived 
mainly from the Processes and the letters to Rome from the 
East, on which our knowledge of the life of St. Francis Xavier 
has been founded. Bartoli is very full, accurate, and industri- 
ous, but the letters were less perfectly known to him than to 
us. We have the great advantage of the very useful though 
unostentatious labours of Father Menchacha, who at the end 
of the last century, and during the suppression of the Society, 
published the letters in two volumes at Bologna, summing up 
at the same time, in his Prolegomena, all that can be said 
about them, and going through them carefully in the * Chrono- 
taxis' which forms a part of those Prolegomena, with a view to 
their arrangement and connexion with the life of St. Francis. 
Father Menchacha once or twice expresses a hope that a Life 
may some day be written which may give to the letters their 
due weight in illustrating the history. No one could have been 
more fit than himself, from his devotion to the Saint and his 
intimate knowledge of all that remains to us concerning him, 
to have undertaken such a task ; but he has been content to 
make it possible for others. 

Father Menchacha's collection of the letters has existed 
for some years in French, having been admirably translated by 
M. Ldon Pages, who has prefixed to his translation a succinct 

Preface, xi 

life of St. Francis, which, if it had been fuller, and if the letters 
had been incorporated with it, would have made superfluous 
the work which is now laid before the reader. I feel bound 
to say that, unpretending as this memoir is, I have found it 
of the very greatest service, as it adds dates and details in a 
number of places where they were wanting before; and I have 
so generally found these additions correct as to have learnt to 
give almost implicit confidence to any statement of M. Leon 
Pagbs, even unsupported by a reference. M. Leon Pages is 
now engaged on a work on the history of Christianity in Japan, 
and I should be extremely glad to know that the volume which 
relates to St. Francis Xavier's labours in that country would 
appear in time for use in the second volume of this work. I 
fear, however, that such will hardly be the case. 

The earlier biographers of St. Francis must not be under- 
valued in comparison with their successors. Turselline appears 
to me to have much of that charm which hangs about such 
books as Ribadeneyra's Lives of the Saints — a sort of quaint 
nnction, a simple Catholic spirit, uncritical, not so much in 
the sense of over credulity and want of due examination, as 
in that of an absolute freedom from fear and hesitation in 
dwelling on the religious and supernatural aspect of the sub- 
jects treated of, and in supposing in the mind of the reader 
the same loving piety and glow of devotion with which the 
writers themselves were kindled. I have been fortunate enough 
to meet with an old English version of Turselline, which has 
enabled me to put some of the wellknown facts of the history 
before the reader in language corresponding to his own in this 
respect. Lucena's Vida da Sari Francesco is a grand work, 
possessing the same merit which I have attributed to Tursel- 

xli Preface, 

line, and, moreover, based upon an accurate knowledge of 
documents and of the history of the Portuguese in the East. 
It is a large work, here and there diffuse, but it professes to 
be more than ahistory of the personal exertions of St. Francis 
Xavier. I have also used the Portuguese writer Faria y Sousa, 
who published the annals of Portuguese Asia, Asia Portiigiiesa, 
at Lisbon in 1655.- He was a voluminous and industrious 
writer, and his facts may be thoroughly depended on. He 
appears to have consulted a very large number of authorities 
in the compilation of liis history. His style is rather curt and 
pretentious, and he dwells entirely upon the military and poli- 
tical side of history. I have found him frequently confirm the 
statements of the biographers of St. Francis, of whom he al- 
ways speaks with a veneration which seems to reflect the high 
honour which was always paid to the Saint by the Portuguese 
officers and governors of India, with a few notable exceptions. 
There is every reason for believing that, to speak in gene- 
ral, the history of St. Francis Xavier rests upon human evid- 
ence of the very highest kind. All the marvellous actions and 
incidents with which it is illustrated are supported by sworn 
witnesses, who came forward when the Processes were formed 
in the East by the order of the King of Portugal. The docu- 
ments at the disposal of Bartoli and Massei contained the de- 
positions of the witnesses in each case — depositions as care- 
fully and conscientiously drawn as any that pass current in legal 
investigations. Bartoli very frequently gives the exact words 
of the witnesses. It was not the custom in his time to add 
footnotes and references : the story flows on from page to 

2 His works seem to have been published both in Portuguese and Spanish. 
The copy used in this work is in Spanish. 

Preface. xiii 

page in his grand folios without interruption or the anticipa- 
tion of questioning, much as the narratives of Herodotus or 
Thucydides. In our days, no doubt, he ^ould add the names 
of the witnesses and the Uke : but to have done it then would 
have been an anachronism. I have not myself consulted the 
immense mass of the documents which still exist at Rome, 
but I have had the advantage of using a manuscript Relatio 
super Sanditate et Miracidis Francisci Xaverii^ drawn up before 
the canonization of the Saint by three distinguished Roman 
theologians, auditors of the Rota in the time of Paul V., men 
of the very highest character, who had examined the evidence 
formally as its judges, and who made their report to the Pope 
in i}ii\i Relatio, upon which it seems very clear that the Bull 
of Canonization was founded. In this document there is a 
full account of the Processes, and each piece of testimony 
which is adduced is attributed to its proper author, and it is 
stated whether he was an eyewitness, or merely one who heard 
others speak of what had been done. I hope in the second 
volume to find room at least for an abstract of this very in- 
teresting document, which is full of consummate theological 
and ascetical learning.^ 

I may be allowed to add, that I have made it the chief 
object of this work to draw out the character of St, Francis 
Xavier from his own words and actions, rather than to accu- 
mulate all the materials that are at the disposal of his bio- 
graphers. When the letters are added to the narrative of a 
life such as his, short comparatively though it was, the work 
becomes almost too large, unless some points are treated con- 

3 This hope had to be abandoned, on account of the great amount of mat- 
ter which had to be contained in the second volume. Note to Second Edition. 

xiv Preface, 

cisely. Thus, now and then an anecdote is omitted, or placed 
in a note, not from the slightest wish to slur it over, but to 
economize space where the reader was already familiar with 
the trait of character or the evidence of power which the 
anecdote might illustrate. I can only pray that the perusal 
of these pages may have to others the charm which their com- 
position has had to myself — that of making them seem to 
understand more familiarly the workings of a noble, tender, 
and most affectionate heart, on fire with the love of God and 
zeal for souls, and borne, under the guidance of the holy spirit 
of charity, along a path of heroic enterprize and selfsacrifice 
by the side of which the achievements of the great ones of the 
world look poor and unfruitful indeed. 

H. J. C. 

London, Feast of St. Antony Abbot, 1872. 



From the Birth of Francis to his Sailing for India. 


Francis Xavier at the University of Paris. 


Manifold diversity of vocations . i 
Importance of the old Universi- 

' ties 2 

Universities and religious move- 
ments 3 

Ignatius at Paris .... 4 

His attraction to great cities . . 5 

Acquaintance with Francis Xavier. 7 

Peter Favre 8 

Parentage and early life of Francis 

Xavier 9 

His university career . . .11 
He was not at once won by Ignatius 12 
The other first members of the So- 
ciety 13 

Formation of the Society at Paris . 16 
Ignatius's zeal . . . .16 

His method with Peter Favre . 18 
The first vows at Montmartre, Feast 

of the Assumption, 1534, , 19 
Ignatius threatened with pubhc dis- 
grace 20 


Struggle of Francis regarding his 

vocation 22 

Difficulties from his father 
His sister intercedes for him . 
Attraction to the Holy Land . 
The Society formed for Apostolical 


Immense importance of the East to 
the Church .... 
Method of life of the companions 
of Ignatius .... 
Unity and peace .... 
Journey of Ignatius to Spain . 
Letter I. To the Captain of Azpil- 
queta, March 24, 1535. 
He asks assistance of his brother 31 
Denies calumnious reports . .31 
Gratitude to Ignatius . . -32 
Vice and heresy at the University 33 
Begs his brother to seek the coun- 
sels of Ignatius . . -34 
His coiisin's flight from College . 35 



Labours in Italy and Rome. 

The Companions leave Paris to join 

Ignatius, Nov. 15, 1536 . 
Opposition to tlieir departure. 
Particulars of the journey- 
Danger to Francis from excess in 

penance .... 
Difficulties on the road . 
State of the country through which 

they passed 
They reach Venice about Epiphany, 

1537 .... 
Ignatius awaits them there . 
They occupy themselves in works 

of charity 
Francis at the Hospital of the In 

curables .... 
The disciples of Ignatius start for 

Rome .... 
Their trials and privations 
They are presented to the Pope 
Dispute with Roman doctors in his 

presence .... 
The Pope favours them . 
They return to Venice and receive 

holy orders, June 24, 1537 
They are prevented from starting 

for the Holy Land . 
They disperse to prepare for their 

first mass 


' 47 

Their rule and discipline 

Collected at Vicenza 

Ignatius calls them ' Compania' of 


Francis has a vision of St. Jerome . 
Bologna, first scene of his priestly 


Ignatius at Rome .... 
With Ortiz at Monte Cassino . 
The Companions assemble at Rome 
Ignatius unfolds the plan of his 


Leave is given to preach and hear 

confessions . . . 
False accusation against Ignatius 

and his Companions 
Decision in their favour, Nov. 18, 


Exertions during a famine in the 

winter 52 

Deliberations regarding the Society 53 
Verbal approbation by the Pope . 
Dispersion of the Companions 
Govea and John III. of Portugal . 
Demand for missionaries to the East 


Francis Xavier is appointed in place 

of Bobadilla, March 15, 1540 . 57 





Francis in Lisbon. 

Desire of Francis for the Indian 

Mission . . , . . 58 

Leaves at Rome his suffrage as to 

the General of the Society . 59 

His journey to Portugal . . .59 

Letter II. To Fr. M. Ignatius, Bo- 
logna, March 31, 1540. 
His interview with Card. Fenreri 61 
His labours at Loreto . .61 

Message to Faustina Ancolini , 62 


XVI 1 


Letter III. To the Society, Lisbon, 
July 3, 1540. 
His account of his journey . . 62 
A miraculous escape from drown- 
ing . 63 

Other anecdotes of the journey . 64 
He denies himself a last interview 
with his mother . . -65 
Cure of Simon Rodriguez from 

fever 66 

Interview with the King . . 67 
They hear confessions at the Court 68 
The King favours the Society . 68 
Fresh Associates in the Mission . 70 
The King begs the Fathers to 

preach 70 

Hopefulness of Francis . . .71 
Life of the Fathers at Lisbon . . 72 
Letter IV. To Fr. M. Ignatitcs, Lis- 
bon, July 26, 1540. 
Success of the Spiritual Exercises 'jj 
Proposes a college for students . 74 
Speaks of founding new houses 
of the Order . . . .75 
Francis invited to Coimbra by his 

uncle 75 

Letter V. To the Dr. Azpilqueta, Lis- 
bon, Sept. 28, 1540. 
Self-diffidence of Francis . . 76 
Hopes of a meeting . . -77 
Commends Bias Lopez to his 

uncle 'j'j 

LETlf-.R VI. To the Dr. Azpilqueta, 
Lisbon, Nov. 4, 1540. 
Joy at his pious zeal . . .78 
Promises an interview . . 79 

Letter VII. To Fr, M. Ignatius, Lis- 
bon, Oct, 12, 1540. 
Great fruit of their exertions . 80 
Death of the King's brother . 81 
Expectations as to India . . 82 


Confirmation of the Society, Sept. 

27. 1540 82 

Cardinal Guidiccioni . . .82 
Negotiations for retaining the Fa- 
thers in Portugal . . .83 
Ignatius suggests that Simon Rodri- 
guez should stay . , .84 
The Companions of Francis . . 85 
Francis named Apostolic Nuncio . 86 
He refuses an outfit . . .86 
Letter VIII. To the Society at Rome, 
Lisbon, March 18, 1541. 
Joy at the prosperity of the So- 
ciety 87 

The King desires to found a house 88 
Deep gratitude of F'rancis . . 88 
Favourable opinion of the Gover- 
nor Sousa . . . .90 
Hopes of success in the Indies . 90 
Expressions of humility and self- 
distrust 91 

Praises of the King of Portugal , 93 
The piety of the Court . . 94 
Letter IX. To Frs. Le Jay and Lay- 
nez, Lisbon, March 18, 1541. 
Alms for the Gesii . . .95 
Advice how to gain support . 96 
Begs that the ambassador may 

be written to . , .96 
Francesco Mancias . . > <^^ 
Masses offered for Cardinal Gui- 
diccioni 98 

Those who trifle with their voca- 
tion 99 

Anticipations of increased num- 
bers 100 

Asks some spiritual favours . 10 r 
Election of General . . . lot 
Francis reveals some secrets to Rod- 
riguez 102 

Sails from Lisbon, April 7, 1541 , 102 


Z. Suffrage of St. Francis Xavier 
in the election of a General for 
the Society . . . .103 

Letter of St. Ignatius to his 

nephew ..... 104 
Don Pedro Mascarefias . . 105 

XV 111 



From the Sailing of Francis for India to his first Voyage 

TO THE Farther East. 



Voyage to Lidia, and first Labours at Goa. 

Sea voyages in the time of Francis . 109 
Company on board 
His Apostolical conversation . 
Practices of charity 
His sufferings during the voyage 
Stay at Mozambique 
Letter X. To the Society at Rome, 

Goa, Sept. 18, 1542. 

Unusual length of the voyage , 

Occupations at Mozambique 

His two companions left there , 

Some account of Goa. 

Melinda - . 

The island of Socotra 

Rehgion of the inhabitants . 

Their hatred of the Mussulmans 

At the hospital at Goa 

Occupations in the city 

Mission to Cape Comorin . 

The love of the Cross . . .121 

He begs for news of the Society . 121 

Humbly asks for guidance . .121 

Francis omits many details . . 122 

The Portuguese at Goa . . .123 

The College of Santa F^ . . 125 

Deference of Francis towards the 

Bishop 125 

Influence of his holy life . . 126 
His method of winning souls to good 127 
Disordered hves set right . .127 
Invitations to attend ' Christian 
Doctrine' . . . .128 



Christian truths taught in verse . 129 
The Fishery Coast . . . . 130 
Remarks on the two following letters 131 
Letter XI. To the Father Master 
Ignatius of Loyola, Goa, Oct. 18, 

Foundation of the College of 

Santa F6 ••••133 

Gratitude of Francis to the Gover- 

nor 134 

Request of indulgences in his 

name 135 

More members of the Society 

asked for .... 136 

Value set by the Portuguese on 

indulgences . . ; . 137 

Personal favours for the Governor 137 

Letter XII. To the Father Master 

Ignatius of Loyola, Goa, Oct. 20, 

Asks a plenary indulgence for the 

octave of St. Thomas . . . 138 
Begs for indulgences for the 

hospital 139 

Also for indulgences on the Feasts 

of our Lady .... 139 
And for the Confraternity of 

Mercy . . . ^ . . 140 
Requests that the Bishop's Vicars 

may administer confirmation . 140 
Change of the season of Lent . 141 
Postscript 142 




Francis Xavier among the Paravas. 


Account of the Paravas . . . 143 

Their dispute with the Mussulmans 143 

They appeal to the Portuguese . 144 

Many of them are baptized, 1532 . 145 

Francis finds them quite uninstructed 145 

Letter XIII. To the Father Master 

Ignatius Loyola, Tuticorin, in the 

Spring 1543. 

Account of his mission to Cape 

Comorin 146 

The children's desire for instruc- 
tion 146 

■ Miraculous recovery of a woman 147 

Conversion of a whole village . 148 

Protection of the Governor , . 148 

Francis begs prayers for him . 150 

Francis takes Mancias with him . 150 

Letter XIV. To the Society at Rome, 

Cochin, Dec. 31, 1543. 

A letter from Rome . . . 151 

The Catechism translated into 

Malabar 151 

Method of instruction . . 152 
Great numbers baptized , . 153 
Piety of the children . . . 153 
Their hatred of the idols , . 154 
The natives beg his help for the 

sick T54 

He sends children in his place . 154 
Appoints catechists . . . 155 
Laments the scarcity of mission- 
aries 156 

Learned men at the universities . 156 

Progress of the College 
The Brahmins . 
Their fear of Francis . 
Meeting in a pagoda . 


• 157 

. 157 

. 158 

. 159 

Francis disputes with the Brahmins 159 
Explains to them the Christian 

faith 160 

Conversation with a learned Brah- 
min. ..... 161 

Hopes of his conversion . . 162 
His own joy in God's service . 162 
Love for the Society . . . 163 
Hisfaith in the prayers of children 163 
The letters of Francis give an in- 
sight into his ministry . . 164 
Difficulties of the work at Cape Co- 
morin 165 

Francis constantly surrounded by 

children 166 

Method of teaching the Catechism 167 
The native schoolmasters . . 167 
Explanation of the Creed . .168 
The natives thoroughly taught , 169 
The gift of miracles . . . 170 
The gift of tongues . . .172 
Other miracles of the Saint . . 174 
Children work miracles through him 174 
Opposition of the Brahmins . . 175 
Difficulties caused by the Portuguese 175 
Hardships and mortifications of 

Francis 176 

His interior consolations • . i7<' 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 

Trials of Francis .... 178 
Want of sympathy . , . 179 

His affectionate disposition , . 179 
His companions . . , .180 

His return to Goa, 1543. . . 180 
He takes two native priests back to 

the coast .... 181 

Mancias working alone . . .181 




Francis writes often to instruct and 

encourage him . . . 182 
Character of Mancias . . .182 
Letter XV. To Francis Mancias, set- 
ting out for Comorin, Punical, Feb. 
22, 1544. 
Begs for news of all that concerns 

him 184 

Exhorts him to patience . .184 
Directions as to money . .185 
Letter XVL To Frattcis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, March 14, 1544. 
The example of God's patience . 186 
Encouragement .... 186 
Matthew and the Patangatins . 186 
Manciiis urged to be zealous in 
catechizing .... 187 
Letter XVH. To Francis Maficias, 
Mu7iahpaud, March 20, 1544. 
Joy at the success of Mancias . 188 
Exhortations to charity . . 189 
The mischief done by the Portuguese 189 
The Maharajah of Travancore . 190 
Well disposed towards Francis . 191 
Letter XVI IL To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, March 24, 1544. 
Outrage by a Portuguese . .191 
Impunity allowed to such actions 192 
Mancias is to complain to the 

Commandant .... 193 
Injustice of the Portuguese to their 

aUies 193 

Change of plan in St. Francis . 194 

Idea of preaching in Ethiopia . 194 

The Portuguese in Africa . . 195 

Letter XIX. To Francis Mancias, 

Munahpaud, March 27, 1544. 

Congratulations on his success . 196 

Sorrow at the persecutions of the 

Christians . . . .196 
The boy Matthew . . . 197 
Correction of an error in Malabar 197 
Encouragement to charity . . 198 
Letter XX. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, April 8, 1544. 
Fruit of Mancias' labours . . 199 
Francis promises to meet him . 199 


Defection of Joam d'Artiaga . 199 
Interest in Matthew . . . 200 
Letter XXI. To Francis Mancias, 
Livare, April 23, 1544. 
Request for news . . . 201 
Anticipation of an interview with 

a Pula 202 

Inquiries about the children . 202 
Letter XXII, To Francis Mancias, 
Nare, May i, 1544. 
Francis ill with a fever . . 203 
The Pula still expected . . 203 
Letter XXIII. To Francis Mancias, 
Tuticorin, May 14, 1544. 
Exhortation to patience . . 203 
How to deal with the unfortu- 
nate 204 

Severity should be the last re- 
source 205 

Other labours of Francis . . 205 

Conversions in Travancore . . 206 

Favour of the Rajah . . . 207 

Account of Francis, by Paul Vaz . 208 

The Vadhouger or Badages . . 208 

Letter XXIV. To Francis Mancias, 

Munahpaud, Monday, June 16, 1544. 

Ravages of the Badages . . 209 

Church promised at Combutur . 209 

Francis sets out to the relief of the 

Christians . . . .211 
Letter XXV. To Francis Mancias, 
Virandapatanao, June 22, 1544. 
Children should be the first care. 211 
Kindness and affability to be used 211 
Letter XXVI. To Francis Ma7icias, 
Munahpaud, June 30, 1544. 
Failure of attempt to reach Cape 

Comorin 212 

An appeal for the sufferers there 212 
Inquiries about the Christians . 213 
Interruption in the correspondence 213 
Francis again in Travancore . . 213 
Attack upon the Christians there . 214 
Francis alone stops an invading 

army 214 

Miraculous raising of the dead . 215 
Another miracle at Coulan . .216 




Letter XXVII. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, Aug. i, 1544. 
Francis visits Cape Comorin by 

land 217 

Misery of the people there . .217 
Letter XXVIII. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, Aug. 3, 1544. 
Fear of Mancias being taken pri- 
soner 218 

Sends a priest to help him . .218 
Steps for the protection of the 

Christians . . . .219 
Takes the opportunity of urging 

prayer 220 

Anxiety for the safety of the con- 
verts 220 

Disturbances at Tuticorin . .221 
Letter XXIX. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, Aug. 19, 1544. 
Request for news of the Christians 

at Tuticorin .... 221 
Mancias begged not to desert his 

post 221 

P.S. An attack from the Ba- 

dages 222 

Letter XXX. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, Aug. 20, 1544. 
Fear for those who offend God . 223 
The Rajah sends a message to 
the Badages .... 223 
Project of sending Mancias to Ma- 

naar ..... 224 
Letter XXXI. To Francis Mancias, 
Punical, Aug. 21, 1544. 
Inquiries about the attacks of the 

Badages 224 

When they are over, Mancias may 

leave 224 

Francis Coelho will succeed 
him ...... 225 

Joam d'Artiaga .... 225 

Francis without an interpreter . 225 
Temporary freedom from moles- 
tation 226 

Francis about to sail for Tala . 226 
Means of securing the work in Tra- 

vancore 226 

VOL. I. 


Efforts for the protection of Chris- 
tians ..... 227 
Letter XXXII. To Francis Mancias, 
Munahpaud, Sept. 2, 1544. 
Help from a Prince at Tala . 227 
Begs the Prince's messengers may 

be rewarded .... 228 
The outrage by a Portuguese . 228 
If true, Francis cannot appear at 

the Court . . . .228 
The Rajah has shown great kind- 
ness 229 

The Commandant requested to 

secure peace during a month . 229 
Particulars of the outrage to be 

sent 230 

Caution not to sign the letter . 230 
The Portuguese more mischievous 

than the natives . . . 231 
Misconduct of the Commandant, 

Cosmo de Payva . . . 232 
The Commandant in calamity . 233 
Francis anxious to reheve him . 233 
Letter XXXIII. To Francis Man- 
cias; Sept. 5, 1544. 
Request for news of the Christians 

at Tuticorin .... 233 
Mancias is to go and help them 

if necessary .... 234 
Provisions are to be sent . . 235 
Letter XXXIV. To Francis Mancias, 
Alendale, Sept. 5, 1544. 
Pity of Francis for the Command- 
ant 235 

His calumnious letter . . . 236 
Mancias urged to aid him . , 236 
Fresh outrages of the Portuguese . 237 
The Christians sure to suffer in con- 
sequence 237 

Letter XXXV. To Francis Mancias, 
Trinchandour, Sept. 7, 1544. 
Labours of Francis interrupted . 239 
The Badages up in arms . . 239 
Influence of Francis with the 

Rajah 239 

He hopes it may check violence. 239 
Intended visit to Iniquitribirim . 240 

XXI 1 



The Christians to be conveyed to 
Combutur and Punical . . 240 

Mancias to visit the Christian set- 
tlements 241 

Importance of instructing the 

young 241 

Letter XXXVI. To Francis Mancias, 
Mutiahpaud, Sept. 20, 1544. 

Kind feeling for the Commandant 242 

Father Coelho sent to the Prince 
at Tala 242 

Francis very desirous to leave the 
Christians in peace . . . 242 

Kind messages to others . . 243 


Letter XXXVII. To Francis Man- 
cias, Tuticorin, Sept. 20, 1544. 
Anxiety for the Christians gives 

him no rest .... 243 
He is going to the Rajah to plead 

their cause .... 244 
Begs the prayers of children for 

his success .... 244 
Sends money to pay for their in- 
struction 244 

Francis again in Travancore . . 244 
He destroys the idols and pagodas 244 
His desire for martyrdom . . 245 
Success of his mission in Travancore 245 


Manaar, Jafanapatam^ and Meliapor. 

Mission to the island of Manaar . 246 
Persecution by the Rajah . . 247 
Six hundred Christians put to death 247 
Conversion and death of the Rajah's 

son. 248 

Miraculous appearances at the grave 248 
Conversion of other princes in Cey- 
lon 248 

Francis intends to appeal to the Go- 
vernor of India . . . 249 
Letter XXXVIII. To Francis Man- 
cias, Munahpaud, Nov. 8, 1544. 
Again urges him to charity . .250 
How to act in distracting duties. 250 
When gentleness fails, a little se- 
verity is good . . . .251 
Confidence in God and in the 

prayers of children . . . 251 
Grief at the outrages against God 251 
Attempted negotiations of the Go- 
vernor with the Pulas . . 252 
Persecution against Christians con- 
nived at by Portuguese . . 252 
Letter XXXIX. To Francis Man- 
cias, Mzmahpaud, Nov. 10, 1544. 
Mission of Alexis de Sousa . 253 

His displeasure with the Pulas . 253 
Francis passes through villages 

baptizing .... 253 

Directions as to the pearl fishery 253 
Prayers of children an assistance 

and shield .... 254 
Desire to die for God's service . 254 
Francis Xavier at Cochin . .•255 
Conversation with Miguel Vaz . 255 
Letters from Portugal . . . 255 
Scandals amongst the Portuguese . 256 
Miguel Vaz proposes to go to the 

King of Portugal . . . 257 
Progress of the Society of Jesus . 257 
Letter XL. To Francis Mancias, 
Cochin, Dec. 18, 1544. 
Proposed visit to the Governor . 258 
Mancias to be ordained priest . 258 
Two more companions expected. 259 
Mancias to go to Travancore . 259 
Villages of Matchuas to be bap- 
tized ..... 261 
Antonio Fernandez . . . 261 
Joam de Lizana . . . .261 
Francis embarks for Cambaia . 261 
Conversion on the way . . . 262 




Expedition against Jafanapatam or- 
dered 263 

Return of Francis to Cochin . . 264 
Letter XLI. To John III. Kmg of 
Portugal, Cochin, Jan. 20, 1545. 
The King responsible to God for 

India 265 

Recommendation of Miguel Vaz 266 
He must be sent back . . . 266 
The Bishop's decaying health . 267 
The King is warned to punish his 

officials 267 

A special minister for religious 

affairs is wanted . . . 268 
The King urged to greater liber- 

ahty 268 

Progress of Christianity . . 269 
More missionaries wanted . . 269 
Colleges at Goa and Cranganor . 270 
Francis expects to die in India . 270 
Anxiety of Francis for the return of 

Miguel Vaz .... 271 
Letter X LI I . To the Reverend Father 
Ignatius of Loyola, General of the 
Society of Jesus, at Rome, Cochin, 
Jan. 22, 1545. 
Renewed request for faculties and 

indulgences .... 271 
The sort of men who are wanted 

as missionaries . . . 272 
Conveniences at Goa and Cochin 272 
Work even for the delicate . 273 

Anxiety for letters . . . 273 
Intention of Francis to proceed fur- 
ther East .... 274 
Letter XLI 1 1. To Master Simon 
Rodriguez, of the Society of Jesus, 
Cochin, Jan. 22, 1545. 
As to Simon's coming to India . 275 
Diego Fernandez . . . 275 
The letter addressed to all the 

Society 276 

Inquires again about indulgences 277 
Francis' affection for Rodriguez . 277 
Simon is not to let any friends 

come as officials to India . 278 
Praise of Miguel Vaz . . . 279 


Letter XLIV. To the Society at Rome, 
Cochin, Jan. 27, 1545. 
Mutual love of members of the 

Society 280 

Explains his manner of instruct- 
ing . . . ... . 280 

Destruction of the idols . . 281 
Account of the persecution in 

Manaar 281 

Prospects in Macazar . . 283 

Payva and the King of Supa, in 

Celebes 285 

What is a lie ? . . . , 286 

Kings of Supa and Sian are baptized 286 

Francis proposes to go to Malacca 287 

Sails for Negapatam . . . 288 

Conversion of the pilot of the vessel 288 

The expedition abandoned . . 289 

Letter XLV. To Father Francis Man- 

cias, Negapatam, April 7, 1545. 

Francis exhorts him to zeal . 289 

His own uncertainty as to the 

future 290 

Mentions his plan for Macazar . 291 
Again urges care to teach children 291 
The native priests to be watched 292 
Serious offences must be punished 293 
Mancias is to remonstrate with 

Cosmo de Payva . . . 293 
And to threaten him with punish- 
ment ..... 294 
Vasco Fernandez . . . 294 
Francis unwilling to see the expedi- 
tion given up . . . . 295 
Sails for Meliapor and puts back . 295 
Letter to Mancias from Negapatam 296 
Journey of Francis to Meliapor on 

foot 296 

Shrine of St. Thomas . . . 296 
Francis attacked by devils . . 297 
He receives great light as to his 

future course .... S97 
Letter XLVI . To the Fathers Diego de 
Borba and Paul of Camerino, City 
of St. Thomas, May 8, 1545. 
Francis regrets the expedition's 
failure 298 




God's will made known to him as 

to Macazar .... 298 

Prayers translated for the converts 299 

His confidence in God . . 299 

Happiness of Francis at Mehapor . 300 

Conversions among the Portuguese 301 

Miracles 301 

Conversion of Joam d'Eyro . . 302 
His relapse and repentance . . 303 


Francis leaves Meliapor . . 303 

No bad Christians left there . . 303 
Assists a soldier who had lost at cards 304 

Causes his conversion . 
Characteristics of the Saint . 
Arrival of Joam de Castro, the new 

Governor, at Goa . 
Martin Alfonso de Sousa's wish to 






Daily exercise of a Christian, by 
St. Francis Xavier . . . 306 

Method of catechizing the ignor- 
■ant, by the same , . . 318 

3. Explanation of the Creed, by the 

same 321 

4. OtherworksofSt. Francis Xavier 340 

5. Supposed letter to Mancias, om- 

itted in the text , . .341 


From the first Voyage of Francis to the Eastern 
Archipelago to his Return to India. 


Francis at Malacca. 

Scarcity of letters during this period 345 

lalacca 346 

Arrival of Francis .... 347 
He remains and works as usual . 348 
Great condescension to sinners . 349 
Conversion of a Rabbi . . . 350 
Multitude of miracles . . . 350 
A girl raised from the dead . . 351 

Letter XLVII. To the Society in Por- 
tugal, Malacca, Sept. 1545. 
His designs on Macazar . . 353 

Letter XLVIII. To the Society in 
Portugal, Malacca, Nov. 10, 1545. 

Macazar 354 

Joam d'Eyro .... 354 
Arrival of Fathers from Portugal 355 




Letter XLIX. To Father Simon Rod- 
riguez, Malacca, Dec. 5, 1545. 
Francis implores him to send mis- 
sionaries 356 

Progress of the Society . . . 356 

Jerome Nadal .... 357 

Letter L. To the Fathers Paul ofCa- 

merino, Joam Beira, and Anto- 


nio Criminale, Malacca, Dec. 10, 

1545. • 

Beira and Criminale to go to Cape 
Comorin 359 

Paul of Camerino exhorted to obe- 
dience 360 

Recommendation of Simon Bo- 
telho 360 


The Moluccas. 

Meagre account of Francis' pro- 
ceedings in the Moluccas . 362 
Extent of the Islands . . . 363 
State of Religion .... 364 
Conversions on board ship . . 365 

Amboyna 365 

The fleet of Spaniards . . . 366 
Contagious disease among the crews 367 
Cosmo Torres .... 367 
Letter LL To the Society at Goa, 
Amboyna, May, 8, 1546. 
Work at Amboyna . . . 368 
Prospect of danger . . . 369 
Letter LIL To Father Paul ofCaine- 
rino, Amboyna, May 10, 1546. 
Exhortation to obedience . . 370 
Two Fathers to be sent to the 
Moluccas .... 370 
Letter LIIL To the Fathers at Co- 
morin — Antonio Criminale and 
Joam Beira, Amboyna, May 10, 
His work with the Spaniards . 371 
Mancias and Beira to come to the 

Moluccas .... 372 
How they are to sail . . . 373 
Letter LIV. To the Society at Rome, 
Amboyna, May 1546. 
His arrangements before leaving 

India 374 

Stay at Malacca .... 374 
Voyage to Amboyna . . . 375 
The Spanish fleet . 376 

The region of the Moor . . 376 
Dangerous voyage to Amboyna . 377 
The Jews in China . . . 378 
Letters received at Malacca . 379 
State of Amboyna . . . 380 
The Island of Maurica . . 381 
Climate and productions . .381 
Variety of languages . . . 382 
A lusus-naturce in Amboyna . 383 
Asks prayers for his voyage . 383 
Characteristics of this letter . . 384 
Letter LV. To the Society at Rome, 
Cochin, Jan. 21, 1548. 
Work at Amboyna 
The Isles of the Moor 
The Javars .... 
Volcanic eruptions 
St. Michael's Day, 1546 . 
Work on his return towards Ma 

lacca .... 
The Mussulman King of Ter 
nate . . . . , 
Ignorance of the Mussulmans 
Four months at Malacca . 
Details to be supplied from other 

sources .... 
The crucifix in Baranura 
Francis in Rosalao and Ulate 
State of Religion in Ternate . 
Great success in preaching 
Neachile .... 
Why Francis Xavier went to the 
land of the Moor . . . 398 








History of Religion there 
Attempts to prevent his going 
His joyful reception 


. 399 
• 399 
. 400 


Great consolations . . . 401 

The chastisement of Tolo . . 402 
Visit to Macazar and other places . 404 


Four more Months in Malacca. 

Francis finds three Priests of the 

Society at Malacca . . . 405 
News from Europe . . . 406 
Death of Peter Favre . . . 406 
The Missionaries sent on . ' . 407 
The Acheenese expedition against 

Malacca 408 

The Portuguese ships burnt . . 409 
Challenge to the ' Capitan' . . 409 
Indignation and zeal of Francis . 410 
The Christian armament fitted out 411 

Francis announces its success 


History of the armament . . 412 
The battle and victory . . . 414 
Triumphant return of the armament 416 
Letter LV. continued. 
Anger the Japanese . . . 417 
Prospects in Japan . . . 418 
Storm on the way to India . 419 

Francis' love for the Society . 420 
Farther details as to Anger . .421 
Joam d'Eyro's fault and vision . 422 
Particulars as to the storm and sud- 
den calm «... 424 




Francis Xavier at the University of Paris, 

In His last discourse to His Apostles, before He went forth 
to the Garden of Gethsemani on the night of the Passion, our 
Blessed Lord told them that their election to their high mission 
in the Church and all their fruitfulness in it depended on Him- 
self. * You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and 
have appointed you that you should go and should bring forth 
fruit, and that your fruit should remain.'^ This truth neces- 
sarily holds good of all who, in any way or degree, have been 
called in the history of the Church to a work or mission like to 
that of the Apostles : their original vocation and their prepara- 
tion for their office, the power which has been with them in 
carrying it out, and the success and permanence of their work, 
all have come from our Lord. But as the manner in which He 
called or prepared the Apostles was so various, as Andrew and 
John were led to follow Him while they were disciples of the 
Baptist, as He called Matthew from the receipt of custom, and 
St. Paul on his way to persecute the Christians at Damascus, so 
it has been since. The manifold diversity of the vocations of 
later Saints, of the methods by which they have been attracted, 
and of the places or occupations in which the Divine Voice has 
made itself heard by them, is as wonderful as the rich multi- 
formity of their graces and the teeming fertility of their labours. 
The three canonized Saints of the first generation ot the Society 
of Jesus illustrate this remark, for St. Ignatius was called to God 
on a bed of convalescence, St. Francis Borgia in the midst of 
active political services, and St. Francis Xavier from a career 
of honourable study. It is with the call of the last-named Saint 
that we have now to do. 

1 St. John XV. i6. 
VOL. T, B 

St. Francis Xavier, 

It is perhaps not easy for us to understand fully how im- 
portant to the Church, in the middle ages and the centuries 
which immediately followed them, were the great Universities 
of Europe, or the influence which they exercised on the intel- 
lectual life of the time. The universality of printing and read- 
ing has to some extent dispersed and distributed that power 
over the general thought which formerly was, as it were, stored 
up in the great centres of learning. Again, the effect of the 
movement of the sixteenth century has been to dissolve Chris- 
tendom into separate and hostile, though outwardly Christian, 
nationalities, and one part of this process of disintegration has 
been the enfeebling of the attraction which drew students to 
the great Universities without distinction of race or country. 
The highest idea of a University is now that which represents 
it as a national institution. Famous and influential as it may 
be within the shores or the frontiers of a particular country, no 
University now aspires to be European. Rome alone, in our 
time, has gathered within her halls the Catholic students of 
every clime and race, and that she did so was, humanly speak- 
ing, one of the supports of that power which the enemies of the 
Churcli are striving to root up by the destruction of the Tem- 
poral and independent Princedom of the Supreme Pontiff. 
Moreover, the creation of clerical seminaries in the several dio- 
ceses, which was one of the results of the Council of Trent, 
though it may as yet have been only partially carried out in more 
than one Catholic country, has tended to dry up the supply of 
students in philosophy and theology in Universities strictly so 
called. For these and other causes, and notably on account of 
the comparative fewness in number of the students now to be 
found collected at any one spot, no modern University can be 
considered as an adequate reproduction of the University of 
Paris in the days of which we are about to speak — when It 
numbered among its scholars St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, 
and their companions, and became the providential mother and 
nurse of the Society of Jesus. 

It is not, however, difficult to see the fitness of the place for 
the work which was to be brought to its first maturity within its 

The University of Paris, 

walls. Englishmen, at least, can well understand, from the 
ecclesiastical history of their country during the last forty years, 
how important it must always be for a religious movement that 
aims at gaining any permanent hold on the intelligent and edu- 
cated classes, to seize on a great seat of learning as its own 
centre. The movement towards Catholicism within the pale of 
the Anglican Establishment would never have exercised so 
wide or so rapid an influence over the nation if it had not risen 
up in the very heart of English cultivation. Elsewhere it would 
have crept along in the dark, and it would have grown slowly 
and by fits — if it had not been crushed out before it had the 
time to grow : at Oxford it placed itself at once in the full light 
of day, and attained a vigorous manhood when, in point of years, 
it was still in its infancy. Tractarianism sank into a pietistic de- 
crepitude as soon as it had run through that portion of its ca- 
reer towards Catholic Unity which lay logically and consistently 
within the limits of obedience to Anglican authorities, of main- 
tenance of Anglican tests of doctrine, and of adherence to the 
partial compromise on which the Establishment rests. When 
its intellectual principles led its true followers beyond these 
bounds, its onward course was necessarily and violently sepa- 
rated from the place which had witnessed its birth : but it left 
behind it seeds of mental activity and a thirst for truth and pro- 
gress which have still their effect upon the University, which, 
under many and great disadvantages, has been raised by these 
and other influences from the comparative degradation which 
had characterized it, with almost unbroken uniformity, from the 
days of the Reformation to our own. 

We are not about to compare two things in themselves so 
difl'erent in principle and in history as what is called the Ox- 
ford movement of our own time and the formation of the 
Society of Jesus. Both, however, illustrate the importance of 
securing, as the startingpoint of a powerful movement, some 
great centre of intellectual activity, some stronghold of learning 
frequented by large numbers and successive generations of 
students in the opening prime of life and in the first vigour of 
mental energy. Every great movement, and, in particular, 

St, Francis Xavier. 

every great religious movement, depends, as far as human 
means are concerned, on the force with which it may draw 
to itself a larger or smaller proportion of the rich growth of 
generous, intelligent, and powerful minds with which each 
generation of a healthy Christian community may be assumed 
to teem ; and the place where such minds are collected, where 
they flourish and develope under a congenial air, and under 
the influence of their own mutual attraction and collision, is 
generally to be found in the Universities. Both of the move- 
ments of which we speak illustrate, though not to an equal de- 
gree, the manner in which minds which begin with a simple 
thirst for knowledge for its own sake may become the most 
fitting and powerful instruments for ends far higher than those 
which they at first set before themselves. Such minds are 
naturally to be found at Universities, and when they are taken 
captive by some revelation of the glories and beauties of the 
ancient Church, of the noble end for which man was created, 
and of the importance of salvation and perfection, they are 
often formed into the mightiest weapons of the armoury of the 
Church. They are * not incredulous to the heavenly vision,' 
and their devotion of themselves to its behests is the welfare 
of thousands of souls. And those who have inherited the bene- 
fits of the connection of the later movement with the great 
seat of learned education in England may well linger with 
pleasure over the thought of those few years, in the first half of 
the sixteenth century, when a little band of students in the 
University of Paris found themselves united together under 
the spiritual leadership of Ignatius of Loyola, for the purpose 
of following a rule of life founded upon the Exercises, and with 
the determination to spend their lives simply in work for the 
greater glory of God, and when the Society of Jesus issued 
irom their union. 

When, in February 1528, Ignatius arrived in Paris, he was 
already of middle age.- Seven years, full of events in his per- 
sonal and spiritual history, had passed since his conversion to 
God by the reading of Ludolph of Saxony's Life of Jesus Christ 
2 He was in his thirty-seventh year. 

The University of Pans, 

and the Lives of the Saints, as he lay on his sickbed, slowly re- 
covering from the effects of the wound which he had received 
in the breach at Pampeluna. They had been years of rare 
favours and lights received from God, of deep spiritual expe- 
rience, and of the most unquestionable fruits of the highest 
sanctity in the souls of others whom he had laboured to win 
to God. They had seen him in his seclusion at Manresa, and 
in his voyage and visit to that Holy Land which left such in- 
effaceable marks upon his memory, and which drew to itself the 
first deliberate choice of his apostolic zeal. Early in this time 
he had composed his book of the Spiritual Exercises, and had 
had distinctly revealed to him the outline and plan of the 
Order which he was to found upon them in the Church. He 
had lived with the reputation of a saint at Barcelona, at Alcala, 
and at Salamanca ; everywhere persecution, the shadow of 
sanctity, as well as the admiration of good Christians, had 
waited upon him. At Barcelona he had been assaulted and 
left for dead by the agents of some gay cavaliers who could 
not brook the return to strictness and cloistral observances 
which he had introduced into a convent of nuns with whom 
they were acquainted. At Alcala he had been imprisoned on 
account of the imprudent devotion of some noble ladies whom 
he had converted, and who had set off alone and without 
money upon a long pilgrimage ; and at Salamanca also he 
had been imprisoned, on suspicion of being an unauthorized 
teacher of new doctrines. In all these cases, the violence or 
the injustice with which he had been treated had redounded to 
his greater credit and attracted to him still greater veneration, 
and the inquiries that had been made into his life and conver- 
sation had issued in the fullest and most formal declaration of 
his innocence, and even of his sanctity. But he had as yet 
made no progress towards the formation of that body of men 
who were to be his associates and children in the great work 
for the glory of God, which was the one engrossing object of 
his life. His first companions, men who had known him at 
Barcelona, had gone with him to Alcala, and who had shared 
his persecutions there, had fallen away from him ; he had met 

St, Francis Xavier, 

some who were afterwards to be among the most eminent of 
his spiritual children — Martin Olave had given him alms, and 
Francis Borgia, then a brilliant young noble of seventeen, had 
seen him led through the streets of the same city between two 
officers of justice. We shall find that some of his future com- 
panions were afterwards attracted to Paris by the reputation he 
had left behind him in Spain. Still, when he came to the 
French capital he was alone. Even his first converts in Paris 
afterwards fell off— Juan de Castro, Peralta, and another, whom 
he had nevertheless admitted to those Exercises which he often 
long delayed in the case of souls from whom he hoped much, 
and who, as a proof of their sincerity, had sold their property, 
given it to the poor, and taken up their abode at St. Jacques 
de I'Hopital, living upon alms. 

After his return from the Holy Land, we see nothing more 
in Ignatius of that overpowering love of solitude and seclusion 
which had characterized him in his earlier fervour in the cave 
of Manresa ; henceforth his time was to be given to the great 
centres of life, as if in obedience to that characteristic love of 
such scenes of action which was afterwards impressed on his 
Society, and which is commemorated in the well-known Latin 
distich, which we may thus paraphrase — 

In sheltered valleys Bernard loved to dwell, 
St. Bennet chose the mountain's lonely crest, 

In towns St. Francis fixed his peaceful cell, 
But mighty cities pleased Ignatius best.^ 

But it was not every ^great city, nor even every University, 
that could be the nursing mother of such an Order as that 
which he was called to found. The severe orthodoxy of the 
Spanish seats of learning saved them from the invasions of 
heretical teachers and dangerous opinions, but they lacked 
also the stir of mind and conflict of argument which accom- 
pany such invasions, and some experience of which may be 
requisite in those who are to meet falsehood most successfully, 

3 Bernardus valles, montes Benedictus araabat, 
Oppida Franciscus, magnas Ignatius urbes. 

The University of Pans. 

Perhaps the Society, composed as it was at first in great mea- 
sure of Spaniards, would have been too exclusively national in 
character, if Alcala or Salamanca, instead of Paris, had been 
the place of its birth. At all events, Ignatius failed if he 
really attempted to found it in Spain. But his long-deferred 
success came at last. The two first, and in some sense the 
two greatest, of his spiritual disciples were awaiting him in 
Paris at the College of St. Barbara, where they had already 
for some years been intimate friends, sharing even the same 
room.^ These two were Peter Favre, a native of Villaret, in 
the diocese of Geneva, and Francis Xavier, a native of Na- 
varre, born fifteen years^ after Ignatius himself, at the Castle of 
Xavier, a few leagues distant from Pampeluna. 

Our main business is with the last and most famous of 
these two,, but the beautiful and winning character of Peter 

4 There were at that time a great number of Colleges at Paris. A short ac- 
count of more than forty will be found in F. Prat's Maldonat et V University de 
Paris au seizihne Sihcle, p. 527, Paris, 1856. These are said to be the ' prin- 
cipal' Colleges. The whole of the city on the south bank of the Seine was oc- 
cupied by the University. The foundation of the College Royale by Francis I. , 
which gave an impulse to the studies at the same time that it aroused the jeal- 
ousies of the University, took place in 1531 — at the very time, therefore, when 
Ignatius and his companions were students. The influence of the new College 
was favourable to innovations of every kind, and naturally gave umbrage to the 
orthodox. Calvin had studied at the College Montaigu, where Ignatius attended 
the classes of •* humanities, ' a few years before his arrival, and he returned from 
Bourges to Pan,, to disseminate heresy in 1534. Ramus, another great innovator, 
came to Paris m 1523, and began by attaching himself as servant to a rich stu- 
dent at the College of Navarre. He took his degree as Master of Arts in 1536, 
two years after Ignatius. The Colleges were originally the places of residence 
of the scholars, many of whom lived on ' burses' attached to the foundation. 
They were under the care of a ' regent,' who took them to the public lectures of 
the University. Afterwards the teaching was carried on in the Colleges them- 
selves, as at the English Universities at the present day. St Ignatius did not 
proceed to the College of St. Barbara till after he had spent nearly a year in 
Paris, during which he appears, as has been said, to have studied ' humanities.' 
It is asserted that there were between twelve and sixteen thousand students in 
Paris at this period. 

5 The earlier biographers of St. Francis gave the year 1497 as that of his 
birth. (St. Ignatius was born in 1491. ) But Poussines, a later, and in some respects 
a more accurate writer, gives good reason for supposing that so early a date is 
an error, and quotes an old register of the family, in which April 7th, 1506, is 
fixed as the; day of his birth. It was the Tuesday in Holy Week. 

8 St. Francis Xavier. 

Favre tempts us to linger over the first mention of his name. 
When Ignatius arrived in Paris, Peter Favre was in his twenty- 
second year, and already far advanced in his studies in philo- 
sophy. Piety and simplicity were combined in him with a 
singular love of study and a remarkable appreciation of the 
value of intellectual gifts. His parents, though not wealthy, 
had made great efforts to support him as a student, and this 
he accounted as one of the great blessings of his life. At the 
age of ten, when tending his father's sheep, he had been in- 
spired with a very ardent desire of knowledge, and had begged 
most earnestly from his parents the privilege of a good educa- 
tion. They consented, and placed him under the charge of a 
master, Pierre Veillard, of whom he always spoke with the most 
intense gratitude, and whom after his death he used to invoke 
as a saint. Veillard's means raised him above the necessity of 
teaching for gain, but he kept school for the love of imparting 
knowledge, and he took care to season his lessons with instruc- 
tions in piety. Peter Favre said of him that he had a way of 
making the profane authors whom he taught speak the lan- 
guage of the Gospel. The possibility of this will be denied by 
no one who is acquainted with the spirit in which the Catholic 
Church has, from the first, sanctioned the use of the great 
masters of Greek and Roman literature in the education of her 
own children. The classics are dangerous if taught m any other 
spirit, but when they are used in accordance with this, they are 
not only harmless, but full of beauties and fruitful in advan- 
tages which can be found nowhere else. After two years of 
study under a master of this kind, we find the young Peter 
Favre solemnly consecrating himself to God by a vow Oi" chas- 
tity; and he has left it on record that his fondness fcr study 
helped him greatly to keep his vow, as well as to escape 
numerous temptations and to make progress in virtue. At the 
age of eighteen he went to the University of Paris, and began 
his pliilosophical studies under Juan Peiia, at the College of 
St. Barbara. He became at once the most distinguir^hed and 
favourite pupil of his master, and when Ignatius presented him- 
self for the same purpose, and took up his abode in the same 

The University of Paris, 

room with Peter Favre and Francis Xavier, Peter was selected 
by Pena to ' repeat' the lectures on philosophy to the new stu- 
dent, with whom he soon became very intimate. 

Francis Xavier, with whom Ignatius was thus brought into 
contact at the same time as with Peter Favre, was of a dif- 
ferent character from the gentle and simple Savoyard, though 
like him in the purity of his life, in the excellence of his intel- 
lectual gifts, and in his devotion to study. The youngest son 
of a large and very noble family, he had early surprised his 
relatives by preferring the pursuit of letters to that of war. The 
name of his family came from his mother, the sole heiress of 
the houses of Azpilqueta and Xavier. His father, Juan de 
Jasso,^ was also of noble and ancient family, but he was a man 
of the robe and the pen, high in employment with the King of 
Aragon, and he was not sorry to see Francis inclined to a 
career more like his own than that of a soldier ; so he made 
the effort that was required to send his son to Paris without 
reluctance, though not without difficulty. It is disappointing 
that we should be left so very much to our imagination if we 
would form a picture of the earlier years of one who became 
afterwards so singularly attractive as well as so wonderfully 

6 The account given by Turselline, the earliest biographer of St. Francis, is 
as follows. (We quote an old English translation, to which we shall often have 
recourse.) Juan de Jasso, he says, was ' a man noble both for antiquity of his 
family and wealth, but especially for his learning and prudence, as being the 
chosen Privy Councillor to King John of Navarre. He now having, through 
the persuasion of his father in law, removed his dwelling from the Castle Jasso, 
the ancient seat of his ancestors, to Xavier, his wife's jointure, arid having more 
fortunate success in marriage than his said father in law had — [Martin Azpilqueta 
was the father in law, who had married Jane Xavier, and had no child but Mary, 
the sole heiress of the two families, and the mother of our saint] — provided better 
for the family of the Xaviers than for his own. For having by Mary many chil- 
dren, whereof this our Francis was one, he began to take great care how he 
might keep up two of the most ancient families of Navarre, which were now 
somewhat in declining. Whereupon he resolved to leave the name of his own 
family, although it were neither mean nor obscure, and to give his children and 
posterity the name of his wife's kindred, so as some of them were called Azpil- 
quetas, others Xaviers. ' The same use of two family names seems to have been 
common in Spain. St. Teresa was the issue of the marriage of a Cepeda and a 
Ahumada, and the children divided the names. She was Teresa de Ahumada, 
her brother Lorenzo de Cepeda, and so on. 

lo St, Francis Xavier, 

holy. But no one has preserved for us any childish anecdote 
of St. Francis which may be placed by the side of St. Teresa's 
youthful attempt at martyrdom, when she set out with her little 
brother to seek it at the hands of the Moors. We are left to 
infer his sweetness of disposition, his high and quick spirit, his 
generosity and courage, as a boy or a youth, from the evidence 
of these qualities which meet us in him in after years. We can 
draw no picture on which we can rely of the family group at 
the Castle of Xavier. There was the highborn tender mother, 
who may have loved him specially as the youngest of her chil- 
dren, and whom in after years he was to pass by unvisited on 
his road to the Indies, not only, perhaps, that he might fulfil to 
the letter the injunction of our Lord,^ but also because it might 
have cost him too much to expose her and himself to the sor- 
rows of a parting interview. The father, the man of business, 
skilled in the management of affairs, and the trusted servant of 
his Sovereign, would be of a different character, while the many 
sons probably despised their father's profession, and considered 
that Francis had made a strange choice in giving himself to let- 
ters. There was one of the sisters, Maddalena, who might have 
trained him in saintly ways, as she became herself renowned 
for sanctity, but she probably left her home early to hold a post 
at the Court of Queen Isabella, before she renounced the world 
to become the famous Abbess of the Poor Clares at Gandia. 

The scanty account which we have of Francis Xavier as a 
boy represent him as piously brought up, and carefully trained 
even in such booklearning as was then given to youth. * He 
was of an excellent constitution and comeliness of person, of a 
great and sharp wit, given more to his book than usually chil- 
dren are. None more innocent, none more pleasant, none 
more affable than he: which made him beloved of all, both at 
home and abroad.'^ His purity was remarkable at this early 
age, and he preserved it unsullied to the end of his life. ' His 
chastity,' continues the same author, * as is the nature thereof, 
sharpened his wit, and prepared his mind as a most pure soil to 

7 Ne?ninefn per viant salutaveritis (St. Luke x. 4). 

8 Turselline, lib. i. c. i. 

The University of Paris, 1 1 

receive the seeds of wisdom. Therefore, making no account of 
his brothers* words, who went about by warlike discourses to 
draw him to be a man of arms (the ancient ornament of their 
ancestors), he stuck close to his resolution, and whether stirred 
up by the late example of his father, or drawn by the delight of 
knowledge, or moved by divine instinct, he preferred the glory 
of learning before warlike praises.' But he still preserved ' the 
desire of honour, and was of a high and lofty spirit.' Both 
these qualities of purity and nobility of aim were needed when, 
in the eighteenth year of his age, he was sent by his father to 
the University of Paris, where he was already well-known and 
highly distinguished when, four years later, Ignatius followed 
him thither. He finished his earlier studies, and was made 
Master of Arts in 1530. He then lectured for some time on 
the logic, metaphysics, and physics of Aristotle, at the College 
Beauvais. The University was at that time neither perfect in 
discipline nor immaculate in morals, or even in orthodoxy. 
The multitudes of young men who flocked thither from all 
parts were probably exposed to as great temptations as are now 
incurred by the students of any Continental University, and 
on account of the entire absence of moral supervision, to 
greater than are to be met with, as an ordinary rule, under the 
collegiate system of Oxford and Cambridge. Francis was bril- 
liant and industrious, and his whole character and bearing 
breathed a singular purity — a virtue against which many snares 
were sure to be laid in an atmosphere like that of Paris, and 
which the scanty discipline and independent life of the students 
did not do much to protect. That he lived pure is a sign that 
he could not have been eaten up by pride, vanity, and ambition ; 
but at the time of which we are speaking he enjoyed his own 
great reputation and success, and the perfection of Christian 
humility and love of contempt had not conquered in his heart 
the high thoughts of opening manhood and the native haughti- 
ness of his race. He had a heart capable of the largest devo- 
tion and the fullest selfsacrifice, a vigour of will that could 
never have stopped short of success in any career to which he 
had once given himself, a mind above the world, and yet — 

1 2 St, Francis Xavien 

because the light from heaven which was to guide him to the 
high sanctity to which he was destined had not yet shone upon 
it — ^incHned for the moment to occupy itself with such glories 
as that of a great teacher of philosophy, a renowned doctor, or 
a brilliant Prelate. He himself tells us, in the first of his letters, 
that he had nbt escaped exposure to the danger of the corrupt 
doctrines which were insidiously disseminated among the youth 
of the University. He had been too ready to trust the fair ap- 
pearances of some men of his own age, of ready wit and great 
accomplishments, who were infected by heresy, and who might 
in time have led him astray after them. From this danger he 
was saved by means of the greatest of all the blessings he re- 
ceived at Paris — the friendship of Ignatius. 

Yet, strange to say, Francis Xavier was by no means easily 
won to accept this friendship as a blessing, and his case is not 
altogether uncommon or unintelligible. There is often an air 
of sadness and a reserve about men of lofty minds and large in- 
tellectual powers who have not yet been ennobled by a great 
religious vocation, as if they, most of all men, felt instinctively 
the little that the world can ask them to do and the emptiness 
of its rewards, and yet were not awake to the opportunities of 
mighty work and of glorious crowns which are open to those 
whom God calls to His service. When their own vocation be- 
comes manifest to them, their trial corresponds exactly to that 
of the young man in the Gospel, whose eagerness in asking his 
question as to perfection was a proof of the uneasiness with 
which his soul was secretly consumed. Q7Md adhuc mihi deest ? 
are the words of one who feels a want he does not know how 
to supply. Then comes the revelation of the truth which tests 
their hearts to the very core — Si vis perfedus esse, vade^ et vende 
077inia qiicEpossides, et da pauper ibus, et hahebis thesanriim in coelo, 
et venij seqicere Me ! : and when those who have been more faith- 
ful to so gracious though so severe an invitation than he to 
whom it was first given, look back on their state before their 
surrender to grace, — whether that surrender be made at once 
or only after an internal struggle, — they are often inclined to 
accuse themselves of pride, of vanity, of a contempt of Httleness 

The University of Paris. 

and humility, which certainly at the time were not conscious 
and deliberate faults. Another characteristic of minds as yet in 
a state of struggle and uncertainty is a sort of instinctive fear of, 
and shrinking from, the persons or things which seem either to 
rebuke their hesitation or to have the power of forcing upon 
them a clearer and keener light as to the will of God. They 
feel themselves in the presence of a master whose eye is read- 
ing their soul, and they often take occasion, from any mistakes 
that may be made in the manner of dealing with them, or even 
from personal and accidental circumstances of birth, or condi- 
tion, or character, or antecedents, in those who approach them, 
to recoil from advances' made to them, or interest and kindness 
displayed towards them. ' The word of God is living and effec- 
tual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword, and reach- 
ing unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints 
also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and in- 
tents of the heart'^ The presence of those who have the gift 
of making us read our own characters and vocations more 
clearly than before is often felt by human nature as that of a 
sword pointed at our hearts. 

Peter Favre and Francis Xavier stand by themselves at 
the head of the famous six men who formed with Ignatius the 
first members of the Society of Jesus. The other four had high 
qualities enough to interest us intensely if they were not some- 
what cast into the shade by those two. We must mention them 
very briefly, in order to pass on to matters more immediately 
belonging to our subject. Simon Rodriguez ofAzevedowas 
the first in order of time to form acquaintance with Ignatius. 
He was a Portuguese, born at Vinzella. Both his father's family 
— he was a Gonsalvez — and his mother's, whose name Simon 
took, are illustrious in the annals of the Society. He was a 
child in arms when his father died, and the good Gonsalvez 
had commended him prophetically to the special care of his 
mother as one for whom God intended a great destiny in the 
Church. The King of Portugal had at his own expense sent 
him to Paris to study, and his devotion had inspired him v/ith 

9 Heb. iv. £2. 

14 St. Francis Xavier. 

designs somewhat like those formed by Ignatius himself, of an 
apostolic life in the Holy Land. When, therefore, he made 
acquaintance with Ignatius, he was easily disposed to join him 
and put himself under his guidance. We have a special debt 
of gratitude to Simon Rodriguez, as he alone of the first dis- 
ciples of Ignatius has left us in writing an account of the early 
years of the Society. After Simon, we find James Laynez, Al- 
fonsus Salmeron, and Nicolas Bobadilla, joining the silently 
formed company ; silently, indeed, for each one was unaware 
of the thoughts and intentions of the rest, and supposed him- 
self to be the only friend and associate of Ignatius. 

Laynez was about the same age as Peter Favre and Fran- 
cis Xavier ; Salmeron was younger still — but little more than 
eighteen — but he was already known as a prodigy of learning. 
These two men, who of all the first companions of Ignatius 
were the most learned, and were destined to become the most 
conspicuous as theologians, were yet attracted to Paris, as we 
are assured, from Alcala, where they had made their studies, 
less by an esteem for the advantages of the great University 
than by their desire to make the acquaintance of Ignatius, of 
whose sanctity they had heard so much in the very place where 
he had been persecuted and imprisoned. We are told that 
Ignatius chanced to pass as they were dismounting from their 
horses on their arrival at Paris, and that Laynez at once felt 
sure that it was he of whom he had heard so much, and went 
up to speak to him. Theology, properly so called, was the 
study in which Laynez particularly excelled ; Salmeron was 
famous for his knowledge of the ancient languages, including 
Hebrew. Salmeron's character is stamped for us on the admir- 
able and copious commentaries on the New Testament which 
he has left behind him, which combine to a degree uncommon 
even among Catholic and religious commentators the qualities 
of solidity, clearness, piety, and the soundest judgment. Sal- 
meron was also a great, fluent, and very effective preacher, 
and it is this perhaps which gives their peculiar character to 
his commentaries, which sometimes seem about to glide into 
sermons. They may be considered, indeed, in many respects 

The University of Paris, 15 

as furnishing the type for those Lectiones Sacrce, or Lectures 
on Scripture in the form of Sermons, which afterwards became 
an institution in the Society and in the Church, and which 
have often been published in books of great value. The 
splendid career of Laynez as a theologian at the Council of 
Trent, his succeeding Ignatius as the second General of his 
Order, and the design seriously entertained by a large number 
of the Cardinals to raise him to the Pontifical throne after the 
death of Paul IV., are too well known to be dwelt upon in 
detail here. He left behind him, we believe, several treatises 
of theology in manuscript, and we can hardly imagine a more 
valuable monument of the soundest theology of the age of the 
Council of Trent. But, though the manuscript exists, the hand- 
writing is said to be absolutely illegible. Nicolas Bobadilla 
completes the inner circle of Parisian students around St. Ig- 
natius. He had studied * humanities' at Valladolid, and had 
come to Paris to study philosophy. Ignatius was already well 
enough known to be continually supplied with alms for his own 
support, and these were even more abundant than his necessi- 
ties required. The Spanish merchants in the Low Countries, 
and still more those in England, gave liberally to him. He 
was thus able to pursue his studies without interruption, and 
also to help other students like himself. Nicolas was poor and 
unknown, and became the friend of Ignatius in the first in- 
stance by being the receiver of his charitable aid. He was a 
man of great ability and devotion, more fitted, however, to be 
guided than to guide, and whose zeal in after years not unfre- 
quently overcame his prudence. It is strange to remember 
that he it was of the first companions of Ignatius who, if the 
arrangement first made had been carried out, would have had 
the great work assigned to him which was accomplished by 
Francis Xavier. Providence overruled the plan, by keeping 
Bobadilla on a bed of sickness until the time had passed for 
the Father demanded by the King of Portugal to set out from 
Rome, and so Francis Xavier was sent instead. Useful as 
Bobadilla might have been, we can hardly think that the 
Indies lost by the exchange. 

1 5 St. Francis Xavier, 

It takes but a short time to run through the few particular 
details which require notice as to the seven years (1528 — 1535) 
which were passed by Ignatius in Paris, and which witnessed 
the quiet and deliberate formation of the first Fathers of the 
Society. We catch glimpses of his visit to Flanders and Eng- 
land for the purpose of obtaining alms, of the widespread influ- 
ence which he exercised in Paris over many besides those who 
became his intimate companions, of the opposition which a 
character and a work like his was certain to meet with, of 
heroic acts of charity and mortification, of persecution and 
public suspicion, and of one or two attempts at violence against 
him. It cannot surprise us to hear of his failure in some cases 
to win the souls to which he laid siege. Many must have 
turned away from him sorrowfully, and it seems certain that if 
the results of his labour for souls at the University were to be 
measured by the actual numbers of those whom he induced to 
join his Society, he might to human eyes have appeared to 
have toiled almost in vain. But, in fact, his apostleship was 
far too wide in its influence to be estimated by this test, and 
he was himself too clearsighted, too prudent, and too single- 
minded to wish to shape all the souls that came under his 
influence in the particular mould and form which character- 
ized the men of the Society. The anecdotes which remain 
to us of this time show us how he was perpetually on the watch 
to do good in any form or degree. His charity was remark- 
able for its refined ingenuity. He brought the victim of a 
criminal passion of the worst kind to abandon the occasion of 
sin, by placing himself up to his neck in water under a bridge, 
over which the man had to pass in his evening visits to his 
mistress, and calling out to him that he was there to do penance 
for him. He won back to strictness of life a lax religious, by 
making a generaj confession of the whole of his own life to him 
with the greatest compunction and exactness. He converted 
a Prelate of expensive habits and worldly life, by accepting his 
challenge at a game of chance, at which he happened to find 
him playing, on condition that the loser should become the 
servant of the winner for a month. By the side of records of 

The University of Paris, v 7 

opposition, persecution, and deafness to his influence, we find 
the most indisputable evidence of the deep general respect in 
which Ignatius was held, and we are told of the very large 
numbers whom he induced to lead a more perfect life, or to 
enter the religious state in various institutions. For his own 
body he gained a few noble and devoted souls, and we cannot 
doubt that his chief care was their gradual training and forma- 
tion. One greater than any of the saints. One Whom Ignatius 
constantly set before himself as his Pattern and Master, had 
spent three years of the most active apostolical life, made lu- 
minous to the whole world by a perfect constellation of the most 
marvellous miracles, and at the end of that term the visible fruit 
of His labours seemed to be confined to a dozen intimate fol- 
lowers — not strong enough to stand by Him in the hour of trial 
— a few devout women, and some scores of less matured dis- 
ciples. Yet the Church was formed in the formation of the band 
of the Apostles, and in her the great instrument of the regenera- 
tion of the world was brought to perfection. It may be that 
there is often this analogy between the most real and lasting 
work of the great saints, and the secret, quiet, and almost in- 
visible labour of the Incarnate Son of God in the hearts and 
souls of His Apostles. Certainly, in respect of the point of 
which we are speaking, as the solid foundations of the Church 
were laid in our Lord's three years' ministry, so the seven years 
which passed between the arrival of Ignatius in Paris and the 
departure of the first Jesuits from that capital on their way to 
Venice, embrace the time during which the founder of the Society 
of Jesus stamped with indelible characters the essential features 
of his institute on the souls of his companions, and moulded 
them into that spiritual form which they ever afterwards re- 
tained. At a later time, he had no leisure for this work. After 
this time he became the ruler, the prudent guide, the adminis- 
trator of the affairs of the body, and its representative before 
authorities, secular and ecclesiastical, and before the world at 
large. At this stage he was, as it were, the master of novices, 
the patient cultivator of a few chosen souls, who was hereafter 
to reap the fruit of his prayers and penances and continual 
VOL. [. C 

]8 St. Francis Xavier. 

watchfulness in seeing his children serving the Church in her 
great Council, restoring the use of the long-neglected Sacra- 
ments, staving off the ruin of tottering orthodoxy in Germany, 
reforming the courtiers of Spain, Portugal, or Austria, begin- 
ning that internecine war with heresy and infidelity which has 
ever been the chosen service of their successors, or bearing 
across the Atlantic, or to the newly-opened worlds of India 
and the farthest East, the treasure of that Catholic faith which 
was being spurned by so many nations who had formerly been 
among the most devoted handmaids of the Church. 

Peter Favre, the first of the disciples of Ignatius, is per- 
haps that one of them all as to his dealings with whom we have 
the most detailed account. Peter was tormented with scruples, 
as well as with temptations against the angelical virtue which he 
had so early in his life vowed to God to preserve unto the end, 
and this interior misery seems to have driven him for the first 
time to open his heart to his friend, who seemed to possess a se- 
renity and peace of mind, and a gift of discernment as remark- 
able as the purity of his life and his zeal for souls. Ignatius, 
without at once teaching Peter to meditate on the great mys- 
teries, or initiating him into the Exercises, taught him great 
watchfulness over himself, and some of the methods of what is 
called the * discernment of spirits.' He further recommended 
him to make a general confession, and to adopt the then unusual 
practice of weekly confession and communion. He taught him 
also the use of the 'particular examen,' for the purpose, first, of 
overcoming one by one the faults that he discovered in his own 
character, taking the most predominant first, and then of ac- 
quiring in the same manner virtue after virtue, continuing the 
exercise as to each till he had acquired the habit of it. He 
continued him in this simple method for two years, the term 
afterwards fixed in the Society for the duration of the novice- 
ship. It was not till after Peter Favre had made very great 
progress under his direction, and had resolved on placing him- 
self in his hands for the whole of his life, to live after the ex- 
ample of the Apostles in poverty and labours for the glory of 
God, and not till after he had revisited his home to bid it fare- 

The University of Paris » 

well, and had returned to Paris, that Ignatius allowed him to 
go through the Spiritual Exercises in the midst of a very cold 
winter, which gave his penitent an opportunity of practising 
the severest mortification by exposing himself to the cold, as 
well as by prolonging his fast for several days. This fast cured 
him of a troublesome inclination to over-eating with which he 
had been beset. Thus Ignatius prepared him for receiving 
the priesthood — first of all the Society. In the summer of the 
same year Peter Favre celebrated his first mass on the Feast 
of St. Mary Magdalene, and, nearly a month later, it was he 
who said the mass at the church of our Lady at Montmartre, 
when all his associates received Communion at his hands, and, 
for the first time, made their vows of poverty and chastity. It 
was the Feast of the Assumption, 1534. 

It is remarkable that at this moment, from which may be 
dated the birth of the Society of Jesus, there was but one other 
of the little band of the followers of Ignatius who had not yet 
passed through the Spiritual Exercises, which had been so long 
delayed in the case of Peter Favre. That one was Francis 
Xavier. That it should have been so >shows the singular pati- 
ence and caution of Ignatius in dealing with this great and 
heroic soul, though it appears that a secondary reason for the 
delay existed in the occupation of Francis as a lecturer in phi- 
losophy. Yet it seems hardly likely that this alone would have 
caused him to wait. It is not impossible that Ignatius, who 
afterwards put off the celebration of his own first mass for so 
many months after his ordination as priest,^^ may in many cases 
have refrained from giving the Exercises to souls in whom he 
hoped after a time to see the most perfect possible dispositions 
for so great a spiritual act, the fruits of which must always de- 
pend in considerable measure upon the fervour with which it 
is entered upon. He often used the Exercises, or some part of 
them, for the awakening and conversion of persons who were 

^° F. Genelli remarks that St. Ignatius ' resolved to devote a whole year to 
his preparation for saying his first Mass, and afterwards added six other months 
to the time, owing perhaps to his not having yet given up all hope of going to 
Jerusalem, and celebrating for the first time the Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, or in 
Bethlehem, at the shrine of the Holy Nativity.' (Eng. Tr. p. 138.) 

20 St, Francis Xavier, 

leading lives below their Christian profession ; but they were 
also, in his hands, the frequent means by which a sacrifice and 
consecration of self to God which had already been carried 
very far might be consummated according to the requirements 
of the sublimest perfection. The truths of the Exercises, like 
certain graces of the Sacraments, will produce some of their 
most marvellous eftects upon the souls which receive them 
most worthily. 

We have already remarked that Francis Xavier was at first 
somewhat inclined to turn away from Ignatius, from whom he 
shrank with a sort of fear, which readily disguised itself under 
the mask of contempt for the gentleman of noble lineage who 
had demeaned himself so lowly as to beg for alms and lead the 
life of a pauper. We can hardly help seeing a prudent care in 
dealing with such souls as that of Xavier in the celebrated re- 
monstrance with the rector of the College which Ignatius made 
in the early beginning of his own philosophical studies, against 
a public chastisement to which it was intended to expose him 
on account of the influence which he was exercising over a 
large number of young men, whom he seemed to be withdraw- 
ing from their proper pursuits as students for the sake of giving 
their time to exercises of piety. His conversation on divine 
things was irresistibly attractive, and it may well have been 
that in many cases the bounds of discretion were passed by his 
scholars. The voluntary disputations held on feastdays in the 
College were neglected, and the time was spent in church in- 
stead of in the schools. The professor, Pefia, a worthy man 
in his way, was displeased; he remonstrated in vain, and at 
length laid the matter before the rector, Andrew Govea, who 
determined to inflict on Ignatius the ignominious form of pun- 
ishment known as a public * hall.' This punishment was a last- 
ing disgrace. All the masters and students were called together 
by the sound of the bell into the public hall, where the disputa- 
tions were usually held. The masters had rods in their hands, 
and with these they touched the shoulders of the culprit, who 
was considered ever afterwards as a person to be shunned and 

I'he University of Paris, 2 1 

The reader of any one of the numerous lives of St. Ignatius 
will remember the oft-repeated story, how he at first recoiled 
from the idea of submitting to so great an indignity, then how 
he overcame the risings of pride by the love of the Cross and 
of humility ; and how, after he had presented himself as usual 
at the College, after the gates were closed behind him, and the 
students assembled by the sound of the bell to be witnesses of 
the chastisement which was to degrade him for ever in the eyes 
of the University, he sought an interview with the rector, and, 
in a few gentle and earnest words, set before him the dishonour 
that would be done to God if any one were punished publicly 
whose only crime was, in substance, a burning desire and zeal 
to make others love and serve better His Divine Majesty. 
Govea, the rector, was converted on the spot, and, taking the 
hand of Ignatius, led him into the hall, where the members of 
the College were assembled in expectation, and there threw 
himself at the feet of the saint, acknowledging his own error, 
and bearing the most honourable witness to his goodness and 
sanctity. If the scene which had been prepared by the ene- 
mies of Ignatius might have been calculated most seriously to 
injure him in the yet wavering mind of Francis Xavier, we can 
hardly imagine anything more likely to force on him a true 
estimate, not only of Ignatius himself, but of the cause of which 
he was the representative and the advocate, than the very dif- 
ferent scene which actually took place. Here was something 
higher, better, nobler than the applause which waited upon the 
ordinary triumphs of the University. Francis was at that time 
teaching philosophy with great success, and his biographers 
have all related how earnestly Ignatius set himself to win that 
noble heart, praising him to himself and others, and doing ajl 
in his power to increase the number of his pupils. It appears, 
too, from the first letter in our collection — the earliest which 
remains to us from the pen of Francis Xavier — that Ignatius 
also supplied him with money during some part of his career 
at Paris. By so many various means did he seek to secure the 
confidence and the respect of Francis, and when these were 
gained he used them to open to himself the opportunity of con- 

2 2 St, Francis Xavier. 

versing with his friend and disciple on spiritual subjects, and of 
sounding in his ears the maxim of Jesus Christ — ' What shall 
it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of 
his own soul?' We may judge of the state of mind in which 
Francis then found himself from his own famous letter about 
the doctors of the University, written several years later, when 
he was in the midst of his career as the Apostle of the Indies. 
* They labour night and day to acquire knowledge, and they 
give all diligence to mastering the subjects of their studies, but 
if they would spend as much trouble in that which is the soHd 
fruit of learning and in teaching the ignorant those things which 
are necessary unto salvation, they would certainly be far better 
prepared to meet their Lord when He says to them, " Give an 
account of your stewardship," I fear very much that those who 
spend so many years in our Universities in studying the liberal 
arts, do so rather with a view to empty honours and ecclesias- 
tical titles, than to the duties and the burthens which are con- 
nected with those distinctions. It has come to this pass, I 
perceive, that those who are the most diligent in their studies 
of higher literature, make open profession that their object in 
doing this is to gain a reputation for learning, and so obtain 
some ecclesiastical dignity through which to serve our Lord and 
His Church. Miserable mistake ! it is their own profit, not 
the profit of the public, that they are seeking by their studies. 
TAey are afraid that God will not choose what their oivn desires 
point tOy and so they are unwilling to commit the whole matter [of 
their vocation] ejitirely to the will of God.'^^ These may well be 
the words of one who had had intimate experience of the 
struggle which is inevitable when the soul that wishes to serve 
God has conceived desires of its own as to the manner in which 
it is to serve Him ; and we can understand how the conver- 
sation of a saintly friend, persistently harping on the great 
maxims of Christian perfection, must have caused sorrow and 
disturbance in a generous mind until the moment came when 
the battle was won. 

Spiritual conversation, indeed, was, both now and at other 
11 See below, Book ii. ch. 2. 

The University of Pans, 

times, the great weapon of Ignatius. We hear of his preaching 
in Spain and even elsewhere, but his sermons probably derived 
their power far more from the fervour of his charity and the 
authority of his example than from any gift of eloquence, native 
or acquired. But the art of winning souls to God by holy con- 
versation may almost be called one of the incommunicable pri- 
vileges of true sanctity, and it was this that made Ignatius a 
power in the University of Paris, as a similar gift had made So- 
crates so powerful with the thinking portion of his countrymen 
at Athens. It was this that gathered round him the small circle 
of immediate disciples of whom we are now speaking ; it was 
this that bound them to him by so intense and solid a devotion, 
and that gave him so wonderful an influence over a far wider 
circle among the companions of their studies. As we have 
seen, Peter Favre was made his disciple by this means alone, 
and, in the same way, it was by this that his empire over the 
soul of Francis Xavier was gradually gained. 

The remaining obstacles to the perfect adhesion of Francis 
to the plans of Ignatius, came, as has often been related, from 
without. His father had put himself to considerable expense 
for the sake of supporting him at the University of Paris, and 
he thought of sending for him to his own country, where, of 
course, his chance of ecclesiastical preferment, to which the 
father naturally looked as the fruit of all his own sacrifices, 
would be the greatest. Indeed, we hear of the offer of a canonry 
at Pampeluna made to Francis just before he finally left Paris. 
At an earlier period, when his theological studies were as yet 
far from complete, and when his ideas of what became his birth 
had made him spend rather more money than was convenient 
to Don Juan, his father is said to have been deterred from re- 
calling him only by the intercession of his own daughter already 
mentioned — the holy nun in the Convent of St. Clare at Gandia 
— who wrote to tell him that God had chosen her brother for a 
great work in the Church. We shall never know, in this world, 
how much this saintly and heroic soul, who died about the time 
of the final conversion of her brother in 1533, had to do with 
the secret formation of his great sanctity. She died a death of 

2 4 ^A Francis Xavier. 

terrible suffering, which she prayed might be hers instead of 
that of another reHgious of the same Convent. Another effort 
to hinder his onward course was made by a dependent of 
Xavier's, who attempted to assassinate Ignatius, when he saw 
the ascendancy which he was acquiring over his patron. We are 
not told of the exact moment at which Francis took his final 
and irrevocable resolution to give up the world. Such designs 
often mature very gradually in hearts like his. 

When we consider the work actually performed by the re- 
ligious body of which these immediate followers of Ignatius 
became the nucleus, and compare it with the designs which 
they had conceived at the time of their first solemn consecra- 
tion of themselves to God in the church of Montmartre, we 
are inclined to be surprised at the discrepancy between the 
issue and the intention. The Holy Land was the great object 
of their ambition — not merely that they might visit it as pil- 
grims, as Ignatius had done, but that they might obtain leave 
to remain and to preach there. Even at the outset, however, 
they seem to have understood that this design might never 
be fulfilled. Still, it was the original plan of the whole body. 
They were to wait a year at Venice for the opportunity of 
passing to the East, and only when that space of time had 
been passed in fruitless expectation were they to proceed to 
Rome to place themselves absolutely at the disposal of the 
Supreme Pontiff. And yet it is known that Ignatius had had 
the whole outline and plan of the Society which he was to 
form set before him at Manresa. Can it be that, but for the 
war between the Venetians and Solyman, the Society of Jesus 
would have pursued so very different a career from that which 
has actually been its portion ? Would it have left heresy un- 
opposed in Europe, would it never have undertaken the reno- 
vation of Christian education and the reformation of manners 
at home, would its name never have been heard of in the 
schools and its services never rendered to literature in every 
branch from theology and philosophy down to physical science 
and grammar ? The answer is surely to be found\in the cha- 
racter of the men whom Ignatius had gathered round him, and 

^he University of Paris, 25 

in the importance which he invariably and at so much cost 
attached, both in his own case and in that of others, to intel- 
lectual cultivation and deep theological learning. His object 
was in the first instance to form them in the true Apostolical 
spirit after the model of our Lord, to detach them perfectly 
from all earthly things, and inflame them to the utmost with 
the fire of the love of God. It was his object in the second 
place to arm them in the most complete intellectual and theo- 
logical panoply that could be acquired anywhere in Christen- 
dom, and so to fit them to carry on the Apostolical work 
in any region whatever of the world, civilized or uncivilized, 
Christian and Pagan, with those full resources even of human 
learning of the use of which we see so marked an instance in 
the career of St. Paul. We may judge of the universality of his 
aim from the large range of acquirements, spiritual and in- 
tellectual, with which he sought to store his followers— con- 
tent, with such an end in view, to wait for so many precious 
years before he launched them on the world. 

If it appears to us that Palestine might have been no fitting 
field for the labours of men of this stamp, it may be that we 
have too long accustomed ourselves to accept the present state 
of things in the East as something to be acquiesced in without 
an effort, something which the sober judgment of Christian 
men is to consider as beyond the hope of change. Palestine 
was not to be the providential scene of the labours of the com- 
panions of Ignatius, but we cannot conclude from this that the 
very greatest results, even for Europe, might not have issued 
from their enterprize if it had been the will of God that it 
should be carried out. The East is nearer to us than India, 
China, Japan, or the New World. Whenever the day of re- 
generation shall dawn for the East, for Syria, Asia Minor, 
Egypt, and the region of the Euphrates and the Caspian, then 
a blow will have been struck at the power which hinders the 
progress of God's Kingdom upon earth such as it has never 
yet felt. That region is the very heart of the world, and its 
conquest to the Church would even now, humanly speaking, 
ensure the accomplishment of that great work which has been 

2 6 St, Francis Xavier, 

for so many centuries prevented by the Greek schism and the 
dominion of Islam — the work of the Christianization of Asia. 
But great as this blow would be even now, it may be said that 
its consequences would have been far greater then, when the 
Turks were still a power which kept Europe in awe by sea and 
by land, when Lepanto had not been fought, nor Malta be- 
sieged, nor the flood of barbarian invasion rolled back from 
the walls of Vienna, and when the colossal power of Russia 
had not yet risen up to aid by its strength the schism of Con- 
stantinople. We shall follow Francis Xavier in his labours in 
the still farther East — labours the fruits of which it cost the 
Church incredible efforts to keep up and develope for more 
than two centuries by supplies from Europe, supplies which 
always depended in great measure upon the goodwill of poli- 
ticians, and which were at last dried up, almost entirely, by 
the triumph of the Bourbon Courts in the suppression of the 
Society. The evangelizing of the far East, bright and grand 
as its history is, might have had annals far brighter and grander 
if the work had been begun in Palestine, and had advanced 
steadily eastwards. We shall find Francis, at the very end of 
his short career, renewing in some sense the design with which 
he began, in his intention to preach westward from China until 
lie came again to the shores of the Mediterranean. Such are 
the dreams of saints. But we must not measure them by our 
narrow views of expediency or possibility, and we may feel 
assured that, if Ignatius and his companions had really been 
sent by Providence to Palestine, they might not have done the 
less in their own persons and in those of their followers in the 
battle against heresy or worldliness or ignorance in the Catholic 
countries of Europe. At all events, Ignatius never changed 
his mind about the importance of the Holy Land, nor laid 
aside his wish that the Society which he had founded might be 
allowed to fix one of its chief seats at Jerusalem, the one place 
of Christian pilgrimage which can never lose its attraction, 
under whatever external circumstances of disadvantage, as long 
as this world lasts, and which is so obviously fitted to be the 
centre from which all good influences may flow over the whole 

The University of Paris. iy 

of the long-desolate Eastern world. In the very last year of 
his life, we find Ignatius refusing to give up his hopes. Don 
Pedro de Zarata de Bermeo, a knight of the Holy Sepulchre, 
obtained in 1554 a bull from Pope Julius III. for the founda- 
tion of three Colleges of the Society in the East — in Jerusalem, 
in Constantinople, and in Cyprus. Ignatius made many efforts 
to bring about the accomplishment of this design ; but he was 
always thwarted by the apathy of the persons to whom he ad- 
dressed himself, or other causes. Even before the bull was 
actually obtained, he had sent Simon Rodriguez — mindful of 
that early attraction to the Holy Land which had fijst brought 
them together — as far as Venice on his way to Jerusalem, 
where he was to wait for a suitable opportunity of establishing 
the College. But Rodriguez fell so ill at Venice that he was 
unable to go farther. Still, when in 1556 the Franciscans urged 
liim to renounce the right which the bull of Pope Julius had 
given him, Ignatius declined to do so, saying that he did not 
think he could do so with a clean conscience, even though it 
might seem unlikely that the design could be carried out in 
his own lifetime.12 

We must pass rapidly over the time — a space of two years 
and three months — which passed between the first happy meet- 
ing of the companions of Ignatius in the crypt at Montmartre, 
where they pronounced their vows and received communion 

^2 The history of this plan of Zarata's is related at length by F. Genelli in the 
fifth chapter of his second part of his Life of St. Ignatius (Eng. Tr. pp. 260- 
263), The Bollandists give the letter, which is quoted by F. Genelli, in which 
Ignatius refused to renounce his right. ' As we do not know,' he says, ' what 
God our Lord may be pleased to do through the poor instrumentality of this 
little Society, it does not seem to me to be right, or conformable to the Spirit of 
God, to consent to the closing of the prospect of having a College in the Holy 
Land. A?td even were I to renounce it, this act would not bind the Society in 
any future time. And I do not think I can consent with a free conscience to a 
renunciation of this kind, even though it should appear unlikely that we should 
found a College there during my lifetime. It is of course quite possible that this 
design may never be carried into execution, but we must not engage ourselves 
by a promise that it shall not be done.* We may add, that our own days may 
very possibly see a great change in the state of affairs in the East, one of the re- 
sults of which may well be the accomplishment of the long-cherished designs of 
St. Ignatius for the benefit of its peoples. 

28 St, Francis Xavier, 


from the hands of Peter Favre, to the 15th of November 
1536, when, they finally left Paris on their road to Venice, 
there to attempt the accomplishment of their design of passing 
to the Holy Land. We are not told at what exact point in 
his academical career Francis Xavier left off the teaching of 
philosophy and devoted himself to the study of theology, but 
we know that the completion of their theological studies was 
the chief reason for the delay resolved upon by Ignatius. It 
would take us too long, also, to follow Francis through the 
Exercises, which he made some time after the day of the first 
vows. The rules of the little Society were few and simple. 
They were unable to live in common, but they met on Sundays 
and feasts, were as much in one another's company as pos- 
sible, and, for the purpose of fostering charity and of that im- 
mense spiritual profit which comes from intercourse with con- 
genial souls on fire with the love of God, they invited one 
another to their simple meals, and thus renewed the ' Love- 
feasts' of the early Christians. Ignatius himself was with them 
only till the end of March in the year following the meeting 
at Montmartre. He went to Spain, partly for his health, and 
partly also that he might arrange the private affairs of some of 
the little body, Francis Xavier, Laynez, and Salmeron, who 
thought it more prudent not to revisit their homes for such a 
purpose. The vow of poverty which they had made at Mont- 
martre consisted in the renouncement of all possessions and 
dignities in this world, and as this renouncement could not be 
carried out while they remained in France as students, they 
had fixed a time at which it was to be formally effected. This 
was the business which Ignatius was to perform for them at 
their homes. One more associate, Claude Le Jay, of Geneva, 
had been added to the little Society before Ignatius left. Two 
more, who raised the number of the original Fathers to ten, 
John Codurius and Paschase Brouet, were gathered in after 
his departure, when Peter Favre was a sort of father and 
superior to the rest in the place of Ignatius. They practised 
weekly confession and communion, daily meditation and ex- 
amination of conscience, and spiritual reading in the Bible 

The University of Paris. 29 

and the Imitation of Christ. The rest of their time was given 
to study and to such good works as lay within the sphere of 
students such as they were. 

It takes but a few Hnes thus to describe the life led by 
Francis Xavier and his friends during their last years at the 
University. But the happiest, the brightest, the most peaceful 
stages of our lives, those which influence the remainder of our 
course because they have been the seedtimes of our minds and 
souls, those which mould and develope our affections, and to 
which our memories turn back with the fondest thankfulness, 
are often those which can thus easily be summed up. Tran- 
quil times have little history, but they are yet the times of 
growth and of matuyng life. ' So is the kingdom of God, as if 
a man should cast seed into the earth, and should sleep and 
rise, night and day, and the seed should spring, and grow up 
whilst he knoweth not. For the earth of itself bringeth forth 
fruit, first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in 
the ear. And when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he 
putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.'i"^ The har- 
vest was to come in its time for Xavier and the rest. Mean- 
while their life was steady, uniform, obscure. They passed 
from their rooms to the schools or to the church, from the 
schools and the church to the meadows and walks on the 
banks of the Seine, to Montmartre and its quarries, or on some 
hidden errand of mercy or charity. Ignatius had so formed 
each one that his presence was not needed to guide them at 
every moment, or to retain them in their unity of purpose, 
or to prevent them from falling asunder. They enjoyed the 
highest of Christian delights in their own mutual love and con- 
fidence, at the same time that they were adding daily to their 
stores of intellectual and spiritual wisdom. They were never 
again to be so much together, so much at peace and at rest. 
But wherever they went in after years, in the Old World or the 
New AVorld, to Court or Council or Bishop or King, among 
Catholics or heretics or the heathen, they would retain their 
affection for one another, their brotherhood of spiritual form- 

« St. Mark iv. 26-29. 

30 St. Francis Xavier. 

ation, and the intellectual development and the theological 
learning which they had so patiently acquired within the bosom 
of the great University. 

The journey of Ignatius to Spain, which we have already 
mentioned, gave occasion to the first letter of Francis Xavier 
which remains to us. It is addressed to his elder brother, 
and contains a kind of vindication of himself, as well as the 
strongest possible recommendation of Ignatius. Its style has 
still much of the formality and stateliness of the Spanish noble- 
man about it, and in this respect contrasts strongly with the 
later letters we possess from the same hand. 

(i.) To the Captain of Azpilqueta, his eldest brother. 

My good Lord, 

I have lately written to you more than once by 
different hands. I had several powerful reasons for doing so, 
the first and strongest of which was the tie of natural duty 
which binds me to you, and that feeling of pious respect which, 
next to the love of my parents, is due in the highest degree 
from me a younger to you an elder brother, the firstborn of 
our family. Beside this there was the gratitude I feel for your 
great and manifold kindnesses to me. These have been in- 
deed so many and of such a kind that I fear I shall never be 
able to repay them as they deserve, and that I must expect to 
appear ungrateful in the eyes of those who judge of ray will 
only from my deeds. 

I am therefore most anxious to find all possible ways of 
showing you what I think and feel with all the strength of the 
most sincere and earnest attachment, in order, if possible, to 
make you some return for your charity towards me, which is 
ever showing itself by the most conspicuous proofs. Often, in- 
deed, to my great sorrow and trouble, I fail to find any such 
ways, and I feel often compelled, in the anxious disquiet of my 
love for you, to suspect that those many letters which I spare 
no pains to send to you, as witnesses of my tender and re- 
spectful affection, by the hand of every one who leaves this for 

The University of Paris, 3 r 

your parts, are not all faithfully conveyed to you, more particu- 
larly when I consider the immense extent of country and the 
almost insurmountable difficulties of communication between 
Paris and Obanos. 

It is most probably on account of some cause of the same 
kind that I receive answers from yoii less frequently than I 
desire. I feel sure that it is not that you have given up corre- 
spondence so delightful and so longed for by me, but that 
either the faithfulness, the industry, or the good fortune of your 
messengers has failed to be answerable to the efforts of your 
unwearied care concerning me. For, indeed, the accounts of 
our friends, and other proofs no less certain, have fully con- 
vinced me that you have a cordial sympathy for the sufferings 
to which my labours as a student and my dwelling in a foreign 
land expose me, and that in your residence at Obanos, with 
every comfort round you, you feel the troubles of my watchings, 
and the difficulties with which I have to contend, as much as I 
feel them myself in Paris, where I am often without the neces- 
saries of life, for no other reason, I feel certain, than that your 
unfailing readiness to come to my aid has not been sufficiently 
informed as to the numberless wants which I suffer, — wants, 
the particulars of which sound, for the most part, minute and 
insignificant when spoken of, but which are yet very hard to 
bear. The only thing that keeps me up in the midst of them 
all is the hope that I have in that kindness of yours which I 
have so often experienced, and this hope makes me confident 
that as soon as you know what and how much I want, you will 
abundantly supply all that is required, and that the straits in 
which I now find myself will be at once turned into abundance 
by a large outpouring of your liberality. 

A few days ago I had a long talk with the Rev. Father 
Vear, who has lately come to the University. He spoke long 
and most pleasantly concerning you all, and then took occasion 
gradually to let me know plainly that grave complaints of me 
had been made to you by some persons who bear me ill will. 
At my request he told me openly every particular. If you will 
do me the favour to believe my solemn declaration that these 

32 St» Francis Xavier, 

charges have absolutely no foundation, and that they are mali- 
ciously laid to the score of your innocent brother, I am sure 
that you will share my grief at them, and understand the sharp 
pain which calumnies of such a kind must have given one who 
is conscious of being entirely undeserving of these reproaches. 
And yet I tell you the simplest truth, when I say that I felt 
more patient as to the undeserved loss of my own reputation 
than as to the grief which these reports must have caused you. 
When Father Vear was telling me about this, I felt each word 
before he uttered it; for I could easily understand, without 
being told it, knowing as I do the warmth of your love for me, 
how much this wicked accusation must of necessity have 
wounded you to the heart. 

But it seems that these same detestable sycophants have 
not been afraid to associate with me in their calumnies the 
most innocent and the holiest of men. Master Don Ignatius. 
As for this charge, you will see a first proof of the innocence of 
his life and the purity of his conduct in the step he has, of his 
own accord, taken of going to visit you in your own house and 
to deliver into your own hands, in private, this letter which I 
have charged him to convey to you. Were he indeed what the 
false colours of calumny have painted him, were he not, on the 
contrary, full of the greatest confidence in his own conscious 
integrity, he would certainly not venture, unarmed and alone, 
to place himself in the power of persons whom he would re- 
member to have grievously injured, and whom he would also 
know to be perfectly aware that he had so injured them. 

But that you, my lord and elder brother, so worthy of my 
tenderest reverence, may well understand clearly what a signal 
grace of God our Lord it has been for me to have for a friend 
a man so perfect as Master Don Ignatius, I hereby solemnly 
declare, as if this was a duly signed document, certified with all 
the sacred obligations of an oath, that the services which this 
friend has rendered me infinitely outweigh all that the most 
devoted gratitude from me during the course of my whole life 
could either repay or answer to, even in part. 

For, in the first place, in the serious private inconvenience 

The University of Paris, 23 

which the distance that separates me from you has often occa- 
sioned, he has always come opportunely to my aid, both by 
putting at my disposal the funds which I needed, and by assist- 
ing me in a thousand other ways, either by his own means or 
by the intervention of his friends. And, in the second place, 
what is of infinitely greater importance, he has preserved the 
thoughtlessness of my youth from the deadly danger of forming 
friendships with men strongly inclined to heresy, numbers of 
whom are to be met with in the present day in this University 
of Paris ; persons of my own age, who craftily hid under the 
specious veil of attractive gifts of cultivation and talent their 
corruption as to faith and as to morals. Ignatius alone has 
preserved my too yielding inexperience from engaging myself 
in these pernicious friendships, by showing me the mischief of 
wiles of which I was quite ignorant. So great was the evil from 
which I was saved by this kindness of his, that I should never 
have thought the whole world too dear a price to pay for such 
deliverance if it had been in my power to pay it. And were 
this the only good that Master Don Ignatius has done me, it 
would still be of such a kind that I do not know how or when I 
could repay it worthily, or be grateful enough for it. For cer- 
tainly, but for his intervention, I should never have escaped 
falling into intimacy with those young men, good in outward 
appearance, but inwardly corrupted with vice and heresy, as 
their own deeds and the event afterwards made clear. I beg 
and entreat of you, therefore, by the ties of kindred and by the 
share that your brotherly love for me prompts you to take in 
my feelings, my wishes, and my obligations, do all that is in 
your power, as you would if I were present to make the request, 
to omit nothing as regards assistance and attention to make 
welcome the one person of all the world to whom I profess and 
acknowledge myself most deeply indebted for the inestimable 
services he has rendered me. 

After having made this earnest request in the interest of Don 
Ignatius, I will add another on your own account. I pray you 
to take advantage of the opportunity now offered to you to 
enjoy the conversation and familiarity of a man of the highest 

VOL. I. D 

34 ^^' Francis Xavier, 

wisdom, whom God has adorned with singular gifts. Trust my 
experience, you will gather abundant spiritual fruits and the 
greatest consolation from his earnest admonitions and prudent 
counsel Open to him with confidence all the troubles that 
afflict your mind ; set before him any doubts you may have. 
Listen to his advice and obey his counsel. You will find by 
your own experience the truth of my promises as to the incred- 
ible advantages you will gain from knowing and conversing 
with a man so filled with the Spirit of God. He will give you, 
moreover, the fullest information you can desire, and all that it 
is so much my interest that you should have, about myself and 
the present state of my affairs here. And I beg of you to have 
the same confidence in his statements that you would have in 
mine if I were with you. He is, in f^ct, most thoroughly 
acquainted with my heart. He knows most accurately and 
minutely all the particulars of my private concerns, and he 
knows, I may almost say, better than myself, the nature and 
extent of my needs and of the assistance I require from you. 

After what he tells you shall have explained my necessity, 
if, as I feel sure you will, you intend to come to my assistance, 
I beg of you to make him the medium of your favours. It is 
true, he is not returning here so as to be able to bring to me in 
Paris what he has received from you ; but he has at his com- 
mand a very safe means of sending anything to me. There is 
here a young man from Almazan,^-^ a friend of mine, who is fol- 
lowing the same course of study : he receives from his family 
the sums necessary for his maintenance by regular remittances 
which never fail. This young man, when Don Ignatius left, 
gave him letters for his father, with a commission to act for 
him in a certain business, and for this purpose Don Ignatius 
must, on leaving you, pass through Alraazan. I will ask you, 
therefore, to intrust to him when he leaves you whatever money 
you wish to send me. He will faithfully place the whole in the 
hands of the worthy gentleman of Almazan, the father of my 
fellow student, who will send the pension you intend for me by 
the same means and in the same money (so as to have as little 

1^ This was, of course, Laynez. 

The University of Paris, ^^S 

loss as possible in exchange), as the yearly allowance which he 
transmits for his son's expenses. His son, at my desire, has 
asked him to do this in the letter which he has now sent him. 
I once more earnestly entreat you that, now that you have so 
favourable an opportunity of sending me some funds, you will 
not let me any longer grow old in such wretched destitution. 

As to our family concerns here, I have nothing particular to " 
tell you worth the writing, except our good cousin's disappear- 
ance from this University. The news came to me late, and I 
got a carriage and followed the boy for some time, hoping to 
catch him and bring him back if I could. My labour was in 
vain, for, after pursuing him, with the fastest horses I could get, 
for as much as twenty-four leagues from Paris to Notre Dame 
de Clery, I was obliged to give it up in despair and turn back. 
Pray do not forget to let me know by the first opportunity whe- 
ther the runaway has turned up in Navarre. I have great fears 
about the recovery of a character so headlong in its bent to 
evil. You will hear, much better than I can tell you, from 
Master Don Ignatius how Church matters stand here, and the 
direction in which our lately threatened heresies have begun to 
break out, and I shall therefore say nothing about this. And 
so I end, my dear lord, by kissing a thousand times, as well as 
I can at such a distance, your dear hands and those of my 
sister, your lady wife, and I pray God to preserve you both 
and crown you with all prosperity and happiness of life, and 
to give you good fortune for many years, according to the 
desires of your pious and generous hearts. God grant it ! 
Such is my prayer. 

Your most devoted servant and younger brother, 

Francis Xavier. 

Paris, March 24th, 1535. 

It is not very easy to imagine what the calumnies can have 
been from which Francis here clears himself, unless they related 
to his manner of life. They possibly involved the charge of 
novelty in doctrine, which may have been regarded as bringing 
disgrace on the family. Whatever the charges were, they were 
shared by Ignatius. The strong petition for help in money 

^6 St. Francis Xavier, 

may have been prompted by the necessities of his position at 
Paris, where he was yet to remain for a year and a half after 
the letter was written. Many things in the letter seem to im- 
ply that Don Juan de Jasso, the father of the saint, was dead, 
but as to this we have no certain information. The eldest 
brother may have settled at Obanos on his marriage as the 
representative of the Azpilqueta family, and come into posses- 
sion of the corresponding portion of his mother's property. 
He may thus have been independent of his father, and so able 
to help Francis. 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 

Francis Xavier was in his thirty-first year when he left Paris 
(November 15th, 1536) with his companions for the purpose 
of joining Ignatius at Venice at the beginning of the ensuing 
year. He had spent twelve years in the University, and was 
on the point of taking the degree of Doctor in Divinity, the 
usual crown of studies such as his. He was never again to 
spend any great length of time in a single place ; and we shall 
see from his letters how much the University had moulded his 
character, and how frequently his thoughts recurred to the 
place which, longer than any other, had been his earthly home. 
Paris had done for him what it could, and he was certainly 
not an ungrateful son. It would seem that he and his com- 
panions, especially Peter Favre, were highly valued in the 
University. Great opposition was made to their departure. 
Simon Rodriguez tells us that they consulted two learned and 
pious doctors as to their plans, which were approved, while 
they were at the same time warned that their execution would 
be full of difficulty. Another theologian came to Favre, and 
told him that he thought he was forsaking a sphere of great 
and certain usefulness for one of much hazard and uncertainty, 
and that he could not do so without incurring the guilt of 
mortal sin. At the same time Francis Xavier received from 
Spain the news that he had been nominated to a canonry at 

Nothing of this sort could shake their resolution. But how 
were the companions to get to Venice? They were mostly 
Spaniards, and war was now raging between Charles V. and 

Sl Francis Xavier, 

Francis I.^ They determined to take a long and circuitous 
route for the sake of safety, though it was certain, especially 
during winter, to be a cause of much inconvenience and 
many sufferings. They would pass from Paris eastwards into 
Lorraine, the Duke of which country was at peace with both 
the belligerents. Then they would make their way to Basle 
and Constance, and so, probably through the Tyrol, to Venice. 
They provided as well as they could against the dangerous 
questions which their appearance was sure to occasion. They 
wore the long dress and hat of the Parisian students. Each 
one had his pilgrim's staff, his leather satchel on his shoulders 
— in which he had a Bible, a Breviary, and his manuscripts 
containing his theological notes taken while at Paris — and his 
rosary round his neck. They gave their money to the poor 
on leaving Paris ; but it was afterwards agreed that they should 
accept as alms and carry with them a sufficient sum of money 
for their journey, as they might otherwise be involved in in- 
extricable difficulties in the heretical countries through which 
they were to pass. As long as they were in French territory 
the Frenchmen among them were to answer, in the name of 
all, the questions which might be addressed to them, and if 
the Spaniards were asked about themselves, they were to say 
that they were students of Paris on a pilgrimage. There was 
a famous shrine of St. Nicolas on the German border of Lor- 
raine, beyond Metz, which lay on their road, and they were 
to be pilgrims to this shrine until they reached it. After this 

1 In this war Charles V. had invaded the south-eastern provinces of France 
(in July), and had found the frontiers unprepared for attack. Francis I. had 
ordered the devastation of the whole country between the sea and the Durance, 
the Alps and the Rhone ; Aries, Tarascon, and Marseilles alone were to be de- 
fended : even the towns, and Aix itself, the capital of Provence, were destroyed, 
in order to hinder the invasion. The Dauphin died on August lo, with suspicion 
of poison, which was attributed to the Emperor : but there seems to have been 
sufficient natural cause for his sudden death. Charles laid siege to Marseilles, 
but was forced to retreat with loss, on account of want of food and disease among 
the troops, in September. The northern frontiers of France were also invaded 
from the Low Countries. There would have been, therefore, the greatest exas- 
peration everywhere against Spaniards, and the whole of the south of France 
must have been miserable as well as hostile enough to make our travellers choose 
the route by Lorraine. 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 39 

they would pass into German territory, and here the Spaniards 
were to come forward in the name of ail, and the Frenchmen, 
if they were separately questioned, were to give the same ans- 
wers which the Spaniards had given before, only that it was to 
be the Holy House of Loreto to which their pilgrimage was 
directed. Each day they spent a considerable time in united 
prayer, morning and evening, before they lefc their resting 
place for the night, and on their arrival. Those that were 
priests said mass every morning whenever they could, and the 
others received holy communion. The whole day was so ar- 
ranged that prayer, meditation, and spiritual conversation, oc- 
cupied them during the journey. 

The perils and adventures with which they met on their 
way were neither few nor trifling, and Simon Rodriguez, as 
we have mentioned, wrote down his reminiscences concerning 
them many years later, at the request of the General, Everard 
Mercurian. At the very outset of the pilgrimage, Francis 
Xavier seemed to be in danger of his life. He had bound 
cords round his arms and thighs in a spirit of penance, having 
to reproach himself— as we are told — with a certain amount 
of vanity and selfsatisfaction in which he had formerly indulged 
on the score of his agility, activity, and nimbleness in run- 
ning and leaping in the games played by the scholars at Paris. 
These cords he had not removed on starting, and, notwith- 
standing the severe pain which they must have caused him, he 
persevered until his strength entirely gave way. It was found 
that the cords had buried themselves deeply in his flesh, which 
had swollen round them so that they were hardly visible, 
and the surgeons who were called in despaired of being able 
to cut them. His companions betook themselves to prayer, 
and the next morning the cords were found to have broken of 
themselves, and the swelling had passed away. 

The first stage of the travellers was Meaux. Two or three 
days' journey beyond the town they were pursued and over- 
taken by friends from Paris, urging them, in vain, to return. 
The hostels along the route were full of heretics, to whom the 
devotions which were openly practised by the pilgrims on ar- 

40 St, Francis Xavier. 


riving and setting forth were the subject of frequent remark, 
either of amusement or astonishment. The companions always 
avowed their creed, and had many controversial discussions 
with any more learned men of the Lutheran party who might 
be called in to the aid of the more ordinary disputants. On ar- 
riving at the frontier of France towards Lorraine, they all went 
solemnly to confession and communion — as it were, to bid 
goodbye to France, says Simon Rodriguez. Lorraine was at 
first more dangerous to them. It was full of French soldiers 
returning from a raid into the Low Countries, and, as was usual 
in those days, treating the inhabitants of the neutral country 
not much better than if they had been enemies. Metz was shut 
against these freebooters as against a hostile army, and it was 
with the greatest possible difficulty that our travellers obtained 
admission, along with some poor country folk who were flying 
from the soldiers. 

They spent several weary weeks in their journey from Lor- 
raine into Italy. Once in Germany, they had a new difficulty 
to encounter in their ignorance of the language of the country. 
They were thus unable to ask the way, and frequently lost it 
for hours together. It was winter, and the country was covered 
with snow. The narrative of Rodriguez shows us incidentally 
the miserable moral and religious state of the towns through 
which they passed. They stopped three days at Basle — which 
was openly heretical, and in which Carlstadt^ then resided. 
Here they had many disputes for the faith. Another time they 
wandered by chance into a village, which was keeping high 
holiday for the marriage of its parish priest. A short time 
before they reached Constance they were challenged to con- 
troversy by another parish priest, who was already married and 
had a large family of children. He invited them to supper, 
but they declined to eat at the same table with him. After 
some further dispute, he was reduced to silence, and then 
threatened to have them imprisoned and punished. Early the 
next morning they were roused by a * fair and gracious young 

3 His real name was Bodenstein, but he is more commonly known from the 
place of his birth. 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 4 1 

man of -about thirty,' who guided them along paths quite 
covered with snow for some miles, and then left them after 
pointing out the road along which they were to proceed. Con- 
stance, like Basle, had apostatized from Catholicism : mass 
was only allowed in a church outside the walls of the town, 
and all who assisted at it had to pay a certain fine. A little 
further on, at a place whose name Simon forgot, they came 
upon a hospital, at the door of which an old woman met them, 
who began to genuflect, kiss their rosaries, and cry out in Ger- 
man that she was an old Catholic, delighted to see men who 
were still faithful to the Church. She ran in, and brought out 
a lapful of rosaries, legs, arms, and other fragments of sacred 
statues, and the like, which were all venerated by the Fathers, 
much to the old dame's delight, who began to scold the people 
of the hospital who had told her that all the world had become 
heretical like themselves. 

These few incidents paint for us the hardships and difficul- 
ties of the journey to Venice, at which city the band of com- 
panions arrived about the Epiphany 1537. Ignatius was there 
to await his spiritual children, and their joy at meeting him may 
easily be imagined. Ignatius had arrived at Venice a {q^^ days 
only before his companions. He had sailed from Valencia to 
Genoa, and the vessel in which he was had nearly been lost in 
a storm. * While the other passengers abandoned themselves 
to terror and alarm, Ignatius spent the time in calmly examin- 
ing his conscience, which only reproached him with not having 
corresponded to the graces he had received as faithfully as he 
deemed he ought to have done.'^ He had other troubles by land. 
He had made his way from Genoa to Venice by Bologna on 
foot, and had suffered very greatly from the weather, the bad 
roads, and absolute destitution. Several months were to pass 
before they could sail to Jerusalem, and it was determined to 
spend a part of this time among the poor in the hospitals at 
Venice, and the rest in a journey to Rome to obtain the bless- 
ing of the Pope. We thus find these first Fathers of the Society 
practised at once in the * experiments' which were afterwards 
* Genelli, Eng. Trans, p. 132. 

42 «S/. Francis Xavler, 

insisted on in the case of those who joined themselves to the 
body, when its rules and constitutions had been put into shape. 
Francis Xavier was one of those appointed to the Hospital of 
the Incurables. He was to be the servant of all there, to wait 
upon the sick, dress their wounds, sores, or ulcers, make their 
beds, prepare their food, sweep the room, and the like, and he 
was also to take care of their souls, instructing them, consoling 
them, preparing them for the last sacraments, and after their 
death carrying them forth for burial. It was here in Venice 
that he won the grace, never to find any wound or ulcer, how- 
ever loathsome in itself, a cause of horror or disgust to him. 
The grace, however, was won by a signal victory over his na- 
tural delicacy, when, finding a great and sickening repugnance 
rising in him on having to dress an ulcerous wound of the most 
disgusting kind, he forced himself to lick it and suck it to the 
very last drop of the nauseous matter of which it had been 

After nine or ten weeks thus spent in Venice, the little 
company of the disciples of Ignatius set out on foot for Rome. 
There were prudential reasons why Ij^natius himself should 
not accompany them. Somehow he had incurred the hostility 
of the newly made Cardinal Carafa, who had lately helped St. 

4 This is the account given by Turselline, who is quoted in the abstract of 
the Processes made for tlie canonization of St. Francis. Turselline, like all the 
writers of his time, does not give his authority. The valuable account of this pe- 
riod drawn up many years after by Simon Rodriguez at the desire of Everard 
Mercurian does not mention the incident, at least does not mention it in exactly 
the same form, and it appears from internal evidence that Simon was one of the 
companions of Francis at the Hospital of the Incurables. He seldom mentions 
names, but he speaks of 'one of the Fathers,' A man covered with what seemed 
to be leprosy called this Father to him and asked him to rub his back. Then 
the feeling of nausea came on, as well as the fear of contagion, and Francis first 
scraped the ulcerous sores with his fingers, and then put them into his mouth, 
licked and sucked them. He told his companion of it the next day, saying that 
the night before he had dreamt that the leprous matter had stuck to his mouth, 
and that he had in vain tried to cough it away. It is quite possible that this may 
be another anecdote, but it seems almost certainly to refer to Francis Xavier, 
who was very intimate with Simon, and told him such things as his dreams more 
than once. Simon adds another similar anecdote, which is probably of himself. 
One of the companions begged the infirmarian to place in his bed a beggar 

Labours in Italy and Rome. 43 

Cajetan in founding the Theatine Order, and was afterwards 
Pope Paul IV. Carafa may perhaps have disliked the notion 
of the Order which Ignatius seemed to be trying to found, as 
being so very like his own. At a later time he wished the 
Theatines to be fused with the Society, but Ignatius declined. 
Ignatius was also afraid of finding an enemy in Pedro Ortiz, the 
representative of the Emperor at the Papal Court, who was one 
of those who had denounced him to the Inquisition in Paris. 
His expectations, however, were very happily disappointed in 
the case of Ortiz. The journey of the nine companions occu- 
pied several weeks, and gave them an occasion of continued 
and immense suffering. It was determined that they should 
practise the strictest poverty — another of the experiments of 
the Society — and this precluded them from taking with them 
any provisions or money whatever. It was Lent, and they 
would not seek any dispensation from the strict law of fasting. 
They were a large body to support themselves all at once by 
begging, as well as to find lodgings from charity. The roads 
were extremely bad, the rains incessant, the country in many 
parts flooded. From Venice they begged their way to Ravenna 
by land, thence they embarked for Ancona, and then passed on 
through Loreto and Tolentino, across the Apennines to Foligno 
and Spoleto, and thence, as it appears, by Tcrni and Narni to 

covered with leprosy, whose application for admission had been refused on the 
ground that there was no room for him in the Hospital. On rising the next 
morning he found himself covered with leprosy ; but the next day he was entirely 
and suddenly cured. This narrative of Simon's, which here adds other particu- 
lars like those which we have now quoted, has been used by Mariani, the best 
ItaUan writer of a Life of St. Ignatius. This Life has been translated in the 
Oratorian Series. Mariani inserts the anecdote from Turselline, given above in 
the text, as well as that contained in this note ; but he gives no references. 
Simon's narrative was printed at Rome in 1869. [De Origine et Progressu So- 
ctetatis Jesit usque ad ejus confirmationem, Commentarium P. Simonis Rod- 
riguez, qui fuit e novem sociis S. Ignatii Patris: Romae, 1869.) The passage 
we have been quoting is at pp. 34, 35. Simon tells us a little further on that 
when the Fathers first entered Italy, the practice of confession and communion 
had become so rare, that any one who approached these sacraments once a 
week was talked of everywhere, and his doing so was mentioned in letters as an 
extraordinary piece of news. 

44 St. Francis Xavier. 

Rome. The first part of the journey was the most trying. The 
people were afraid of them, supposing that they must be men 
who had formed part of the army which, under the Constable 
Bourbon, had some years before taken and sacked Rome, and 
were now on their way, in a pilgrimage of penance, to obtain 
pardon at the shrine of the Apostles. 

Whenever they obtained admission to the hospitals, which 
seem at this time to have generally served as the * night-refuges' 
of mendicant travellers, they edified every one by their pati- 
ence and humility, and the piety and zeal with which they in- 
structed and exhorted the poor sufferers who were the permanent 
inmates of these charitable resting places. But they had often 
no shelter at all for the night, and were sometimes whole days 
without food except the cones of pine trees. The simple tale 
of Simon Rodriguez draws a touching picture of their suffer- 
ings, and of the self-reproach which some of them felt at having 
wasted their strength by an excess of mortification as to food 
while they were sojourning at Venice. Often only the worst 
and foulest beds in the hospitals were offered them ; the fer- 
rymen at the rivers refused to take them across without pay- 
ment; they had sometimes to give their shirts or their inkstands 
in lieu of coin. At Ancona they were not allowed to land be- 
cause they could not pay the fare, and one had to get leave to 
go into the town and pawn his breviary to deliver the rest. 
Simon gives us a scene in the marketplace of Ancona, describ- 
ing one of his companions, who seems to have been Francis 
Xavier. He was barefooted, his robe tucked up to his knees, 
going about among the market women, humbly begging from one 
an apple, from another a radish, or some other vegetable ; and 
this was the young noble, the glory of the University of Paris, 
for his learning and mental gifts ! The market people at An- 
cona were liberal, and that day, Simon says, they had enough 
for a joyous and frugal repast to satisfy their hunger, as well as 
for the redemption of the breviary. Loreto consoled them, as 
it has consoled thousands of saints before and after them. 
They spent two or three days in prayer at that sweet and beau- 
tiful sanctuary. 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 45 

At Rome each one went to the Hospital of his own nation. 
They were at first thought to have come to seek some benefices 
at the hands of the Curia, or, as before, to have come for pardon 
for great crimes, or to get rid of the vows of some rehgious 
order to which they belonged. But they were soon found out, 
and were all taken into the great Hospital of San Giacomo, 
that of the Spanish nation. Pedro Ortiz himself presented 
them to the Pope, Paul the Third. When the Pope heard that 
they were theologians from Paris, he desired them to dispute 
before him with some of the Roman Doctors during his dinner, 
and was delighted at the combination of so much learning with 
so much humility. He gave them the leave which they desired 
to go to Jerusalem, adding, however, that he feared they would 
not have the opportunity, of accomplishing their purpose. He 
already knew that war was brewing between Venice and the 
Turks. He gave them, also, leave to receive sacred orders on 
three consecutive feast days without the usual ' interstices,' at 
the hand of any Bishop they might choose. Their learning 
was to be instead of the required 'patrimony.' Paul IH. 
gave them, moreover, a considerable alms to enable them to 
pay their passage to the Holy Land — conscious as he was that 
the voyage would never take place — and this sum was increased 
by the contributions of some pious Spaniards in Rome to the 
amount of 210 ducats. It was sent by letter of exchange to 
merchants at Venice, and was afterwards duly returned by Ig- 
natius and his companions when their design of going to the 
Holy Land was finally abandoned. 

The party of pilgrims returned to Venice after a short so- 
journ at Rome, and resumed their labours of charity at the 
hospitals. Their next step was to avail themselves of the 
Pope's permission to receive sacred orders. Before doing this, 
they renewed their vows of poverty and chastity in the hands 
of Monsignor Girolamo Veralli, Archbishop of Rossano, who 
was residing in Venice as Nuncio from the Pope. Their ordi- 
nation followed in a few days. The sacred rite was adminis- 
tered by Monsignor Vincenzo Nigusanti, Bishop of Arba, on 
the Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1537, Meanwhile 


46 St. Francis Xavier. 

the approaching war between the Turks and Venice, which the 
Pope had been able to forecast, seemed to become a certainty, 
and there could be no opportunity of sailing to the Holy Land 
for that year. It was determined that another year should be 
passed before any further step was taken, that they might not 
lose any possible opportunity of fulfilling their vow. 

The companions now resolved to disperse themselves in 
the neighbourhood of Venice, and prepare themselves solemnly 
and as perfectly as possible for the great act of the first cele- 
bration of holy mass. Vicenza, Treviso, Bassano, and Mon- 
selice — not far from Padua — were pointed out to them as 
places which they might find suited for their purpose of spend- 
ing some time in quiet contemplation and the exercises of 
penance. Two, Bobadilla and Brouet, went to Verona; two 
others, Laynez and Favre, accompanied Ignatius to Vicenza; 
Le Jay and Simon Rodriguez went to Bassano; Codurius and 
Hozes (a new addition to their number, who was, as it turned 
out, the first of all to die) went to Treviso; and Salmeron and 
Xavier to Monselice. These were all places within the Vene- 
, tian dominion. The Nuncio had given them, soon after their 
ordination, faculties in writing to say mass, administer the 
sacraments, preach, explain Scripture, and absolve from re- 
served cases, within the states of the Republic. 

In the arrangements now made among themselves, we again 
find the object of practising the religious rule steadily kept in 
view. It is probable that the number of the companions would 
have been too large for them to establish themselves anywhere, 
as yet, as one religious community, and such a step would at 
once have caused enquiry as to their Institute, which had not 
yet received any approbation, either written or verbal, from 
authority. This may have been another reason for their dis- 
persion. But the little parties of two or three began now to 
practise obedience regularly, though the vow on this subject 
had been omitted when they originally made their vows, and 
when they renewed them before Monsignor Veralli. Each one 
was Superior for a week, and then in his turn obeyed his com- 
panion. When afterwards they went to reside in Rome, this 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 47 

system was continued, the period of authority being extended 
to a month. It was thus that obedience and discipline were 
practised among them until the formal election of a General in 
the person of Ignatius. Up to that time, he had taken his 
turn with the rest, although he was always respected and hon- 
oured by them all in a singular manner. 

The austerities of the Fathers at this time were almost ex- 
cessive, and their sufferings from weakness, poverty and bad 
lodging were very great. Ignatius and Simon Rodriguez fell 
ill, but recovered. After a time, Ignatius collected them all in 
the old ruined monastery at Vicenza where he had taken up 
his quarters, and thus it happened that several of them, and 
among them Francis Xavier, said their first mass at that place. 
It was then determined, probably because the hopes of Pales- 
tine had grown visibly fainter,^ that after finishing their ap- 
pointed time of retirement they should disperse, until the year 
of waiting was out, into some of the chief cities of Italy, in 
order to labour for the good of souls. Ignatius and his two 
companions of Vicenza were to go to Rome itself, Salmeron 
and Brouet to Siena, Xavier and Bobadilla to Bologna, Le Jay 
and Rodriguez to Ferrara, and Codurius and Hozes to Padua. 
It was agreed that they were to continue the same rule of Ufa 
and the same exercises of charity and zeal as before. Ignatius 
told them that when they were asked who they were, they were 
to say that they belonged to the Compafiia, or band, of Jesus. 

While these arrangements were being made at Vicenza, 
Xavier, with one of his companions — perhaps Rodriguez — had 
fallen 'ill, and had been moved to the Hospital of Incurables 
in the town, that they might be somewhat better tended 
than was possible in the old ruin already mentioned. They 
had, however, only one bed between them ; and as the one 
required as much warmth as possible, and the other was at the 

^ F. Genelli remarks (p. 139, Engf. Trans.) that on account of the war 'it 
was impossible to cross the sea to Syria during the whole of that time during 
which Ignatius and his companions had made a vow to wait ; and it was exactly- 
after this time had elapsed, and after they had given up the intention of their 
pilgrimage, that the war ceased and the sea was again open for the passage.' 

48 St. Francis Xavier, 

height of a raging fever, it was not easy for both to enjoy at 
once the httle comfort that might otherwise have been at their 
command. It was here that Francis Xavier had a vision in 
which St. Jerome, to whom he had a great devotion, appeared 
to him and consoled him, promising him at the same time a far 
severer cross at Bologna, to which city he was to be sent, and 
naming at the same times the several cities in which his com- 
panions were to labour. 

In the choice made by Ignatius and his associates of the 
cities in which they were to place themselves, it is not diftkult 
to see the same love for large centres of population, especially 
when such cities were also seats of intellectual activity, which 
we have already remarked upon. Bologna, the first scene of 
Francis Xavier's priestly labours, seems to have received him 
with special affection, and to have gained a place of peculiar 
regard in his heart. He was forced by the importunities of 
Jerome Casalini, a Canon of St. Petronio and Rector of the 
church of Santa Lucia, to accept a lodging in his house instead 
of in the common hospital ; but Francis would never consent 
to live upon anything but the alms he collected himself. The 
Canon's sister, Isabella, had been attracted by the extraordi- 
nary fervour and devotion with which Francis celebrated mass 
at the tomb of St. Dominic. His time was spent in preach- 
ing in the public piazzas, in hearing confessions, visiting the 
prisons and hospitals, and catechizing children. He spared 
himself so little that he soon fell ill of a dangerous quartan 
ague, which was the cross predicted to him by St. Jerome. He 
had nearly recovered, when he was summoned by Ignatius to 
Rome, towards the end of winter. 

Ignatius, with his two companions, Laynez and Favre, 
had arrived in Rome, it seems, in the course of November 
1537. The Pope received him graciously, and appointed 
Favre to lecture in positive theology, Laynez in scholastic 
theology, in the University of the Sapienza, Ignatius occupied 
himself chiefly in giving the Spiritual Exercises, and many men 
of distinction placed themselves in his hands for this purpose. 
Among these was Ortiz himself, who took Ignatius with him 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 49 

to Monte Cassino,^ where he went through the Exercises with 
the utmost fervour, offering himself, at the end of his retreat, 
as a member of the new Society. Ignatius, however, dissuaded 
him on the ground of his age and the importance of the busi- 
ness with which he was charged by the Emperor, whose repre- 
sentative he was in the matter of the divorce sued for by Henry 
VIII. from Catharine of Aragon. At Monte Cassino, while 
hearing Mass, Ignatius was made suddenly aware of the happy 
death of Hozes, his lately acquired associate, who fell a victim 
to his own zeal at Padua. 

The ordinary abode of the little party was in a vineyard 
near the Trinit^ di Monti, but when about Easter the re- 
mainder of the companions were summoned to join the three 
already at Rome, they removed into the heart of the city, to 
the Torre del Melangolo in the Piazza Margana, near the pre- 
sent convent ofSta. Catarina dei Funari. As soon as they were 
all assembled, Ignatius submitted to them his thoughts con- 
cerning the erection of the Society into a religious order. It 
cannot be doubted that this had been all along his intention, 
and indeed it was well known in after years that the whole 
plan of the Society had been set before him at Manresa. But 
it was the method of Ignatius to proceed in all things with the 
fullest deliberation, and to let every onward step in the accom- 
plishment of his plan be the issue of prayer and the workings 
of the Holy Ghost on the hearts of those who were concerned. 
Alcazar has preserved to us the address in which he expressed 
his thoughts.'' The purport was that they had not indeed 
been able to pass to Palestine according to their vow, but that 
in Italy, the centre of Christendom, they had seen with their 
eyes and tested by their own experience how vast a field God 
had laid open to their apostolic labours, and how plentiful a 

^ We are told by Alcazar [Chrono-H istoria de la Compauia de Jesus en la, 
Provincia de Toledo, i Part. Lib. Prelim, c. vii.) that one of St. Ignatius' fa- 
vourite means of doing good was to give away spiritual books, and that ho 
gave each monk at Monte Cassino a copy of the book de Conicmpiu Munai, 
i.e. the Imitation of Christ, which Spanish writers of that time, such as Louis 
of Grenada, call by that name. 

' See Alcazar, at tlie place quoted above, § 4. 
VOL. I. E 

50 St. Francis Xavier. 

harvest He had en?.bled tliem to reap in their efforts for the 
conversion and reformation of souls. This, then, was the en- 
terprize to which God now invited them, and with His aid 
they might hope to carry on the work begun by the Apostles, 
to ' root up and plant,' combat heresy and vice, and extend 
the faith of Jesus Christ over the whole earth. The means of 
doing this most surely was to bind themselves by a permanent 
bond, under one head, adding the vow. of obedience to the 
vows of poverty and chastity, which they had already taken. 
They would thus perpetuate, beyond the span of their own 
lives, the bond of charity which united them, erecting their 
Company into a religious Order which might multiply itself in 
all countries and last until the end of time. This new bond 
of union would alter nothing, it would only strengthen them- 
selves and ennoble the designs which they had conceived. God 
seemed to show that this was His design by the great iruits 
which they had already reaped, and by the men of ability who 
were daily brought to them as fresh companions. There 
would be no guarantee for such in the iature unless the body 
were made permanent. However, Ignatius added, he did not 
insist on an immediate answer to his proposals, he would have 
them all take time, reflect, and pray that God would make 
known to them His most holy Will, that their final determina- 
tion might result in His own greater glory, which was and 
always had been the rule and end oi their desires. 

In the May oi this year 1538, Paul III. went to Nice to 
meet Charles V. and Francis L, in hope of bringing about a 
peace between these two inveterate rivals. Cardinal Carafa 
was left as Legate at Rome, and he gave Ignatius and his com- 
panions the leave to preach and hear confessions which they 
so much desired. The two professors at the Sapienza con- 
tinued their courses, but took their turns in preaching as well, 
Favre assisting Francis Xavier in the church of San Lorenzo in 
Damaso, and Salmeron preaching in that of Santa Lucia del 
Gonlalone. Ignatius himself preached in Spanish at the Span- 
ish church, Santa Maria in Monserrato (the rest preached in 
Italian), Laynez in the church of San Salvatore in Lauro, Le 

Labours in Italy and Rome. 5 1 

Jay at San Luigi dei Frances!, Rodriguez at Sant' Angelo in 
Pescheria, and Bobadilla at SS. Celso e Guiliano ai Banchi. 

They had little reason to" expect great success. Ignatius 
speaks, even after this time, of the soil of Rome as 'sterile of 
good fruits and fertile of bad fruits.' They had already many 
enemies who were industriously spreading evil reports against 
them, and who delayed for a time the issue of their faculties 
by the Legate there. It was also unusual for preachers to ap- 
pear in the pulpits except during the sacred seasons of Advent 
and Lent, and the population was accustomed, after the effort 
required for the performance of their Easter duties, to relapse 
into enjoyment, if not into sin. Moreover, they thought, as 
Ignatius says, that they had but little elegance or attractive- 
ness to draw audiences to them. Nevertheless, the fruit was 
great, the Sacraments began to be frequented more regularly, 
and a striking reformation of manners was the result. 

It could hardly be otherwise, considering the evident sanc- 
tity and fervour of the preachers, their holy and austere lives, 
and the high character which their learning gave to them. But 
the new association was to be tried by persecution. Our Lord 
had appeared, we are told, to Ignatius when he reached the 
little village of La Storta, so well known to travellers as the 
last stage beiore Rome is reached, on the roads ^xom Florence 
or Loreto, and He had promised him His protection in the 
iamous words, Ego vohis Romce pi' ero. The favour thus 
promised was to be purchased and secured by a heavy cross. 
Many writers have told the history ol the accusation made 
against Ignatius and his companions, oi its prompt refutation, 
of the delay on the part of the Legate and the Governor of 
Rome to give a distinct sentence in their favour on account 
of the high standing of some of the persons concerned in the • 
propagation of the calumny, of the persistence oi Ignatius in 
demanding a full trial and public decision, and of the pro- 
vidential presence in the Holy City of so many persons of 
authority who could bear witness to his past career, — Juan 
Figueroa, the Vicar-General, who had imprisoned him at Al- 
cala, Gaspar de Doctis, the official oi the Legate at Venice, 

52 St. Francis Xavier. 

who had inquired into their lives and doctrine before they 
first began to preach in the dominion of the Republic, the 
Inquisitor of Paris, Ori, who had also examined him there, 
and the Bishop of Vicenza, in whose diocese some of the 
companions had preached and laboured. The story belongs 
rather to the history of the Society, or to the life of Ignatius, 
than to that of Francis Xavier, but it must have had, with 
all else that passed during these two years at Rome, an effect' 
upon the full formation of his Apostolic character. The 
Pope's return to his States in the autumn saved Ignatius 
and his companions from the blight which would have fallen 
on their reputation if the calumnies had been allowed to lin- 
ger on without positive condemnation from authority. Ig- 
natius had a long interview with Paul III. at Frascati, before 
the time of the villegiatura was ended, and the result was a 
peremptory order to the Governor Conversini, to bring the 
affair to an issue. Paul had now come under the influence 
of that peculiar charm which the sanctity and noble simplicity 
of Ignatius enabled him to exercise on all who conversed 
with him intimately. The Pope spoke openly in favour of 
the companions, even in their own presence — for they were 
admitted once a fortnight to dispute on theology in his pre- 
sence during his meal. The deferred sentence bears date 
November 1 8, 1538. In a letter written about a month after 
this time," Ignatius mentions that they had then been allowed 
a further liberty in instructing children in schools — one of the 
works of the Christian ministry on which he set the highest 

The winter which succeeded this first year of the labours of 
the companions now in Rome gave them another opportunity 
of winning for themselves the esteem and love which always, in 
the long run, find out true devotion and ardent charity. A se- 
vere famine fell upon the city, and thousands would have per- 
ished from hunger or disease consequent upon privation, but for 
the exertions of this handful ofstrangers, who had but just been 

8 To Elisabeth Roser in Spain, Dec. 19, 1538 ; Menchacha, Ep. S. Iqn, 
1. i. ep. 8. 

Labours in Italy arid Rome, ^^ 

vindicated from charges which represented them as the most 
worthless of men. Very soon they had under their charge in 
one large building four hundred poor, for whom they begged 
food, clothing, bedding, and all other necessaries, and of whose 
souls they took care after they had cared for their bodies. A 
great movement of charity was the natural result of their noble 
example, and the poor were supported by large contributions 
until the spring had set in. 

Meanwhile, several men of distinction were applying for 
admission into the Company, and Ignatius had also been re- 
quested to send some of his labourers to other cities in Italy. 
He had been unable to receive recruits, because one of the 
charges brought against him and his friends had been that they 
were endeavouring to found a new religious order without 
leave from the Holy See. It had also seemed inexpedient that 
they should separate, although they did not yet live what is 
called a strict * community life,' without first determining on 
many essential points. In fact, several months in the year 1539 
(the last of Francis Xavier's life in Rome and as a companion 
of Ignatius) were spent in prayer, deUberation, and consultation 
as to the future of the Company. They laboured in their works 
of charity by day, and spent part of the night in their consulta- 
tions. We have an account of these deliberations from Igna- 
tius himself,9 and it shows how slowly and prudently the plan 
of the Society was matured. If the date given by Alcazar of 
the proposals submitted to- the companions on their first as- 
sembly in Rome be correct, a whole year must have elapsed 
before the vital question of obedience under one head, in which 
the whole existence of the Society as an order was involved, 
was finally determined. There were difficulties internal and 
external. The chief difficulty as to the formation of a body 
under one head seems to have consisted in the intention of the 

^ The original of this most interesting document is, or was, in the Archivium 
of the Society at Rome, in Latin, in the handwriting of St. Ignatius. Alcazar 
1(. c.) gives an exact translation in Spanish. The deliberations began after 
Easter 1539 ('after Lent was passed'). Easter-day fell that year on April 6th. 
The paper mentioned a little further on was signed on Tuesday, April 15th. 


St, Francis Xavier, 

companions to offer themselves unreservedly to the Pope. If 
the Pope were to send them hither and thither, were they to 
keep up as before their mutual relations one to another? There 
were also great external difficulties which had, in fact, to be over- 
come, and which it cost Ignatius many prayers and sacrifices 
to dispose of. The religious orders at that time were in so 
bad a state generally, that there were thoughts in high places 
either of abolishing them altogether, or of reducing them very 
greatly in number. The idea of a new order would hardly be 
tolerated ; a new order, moreover, which, as the companions 
were fully conscious, would require the permission on the part 
of the Holy See to depart in some very essential particulars 
from any existing type. 

The question as to the retention at all costs of the union 
in which they had found so much happiness and profit was re- 
solved unanimously in the affirmative. The question as to the 
obedience to one head cost much deliberation ; and it was at 
one time thought that it would be expedient for them to retire 
for some such space as forty days into absolute solitude, spend- 
ing their time entirely in prayer and austerities, in order to solve 
it. This idea was abandoned, partly from fear of the scandal 
that might follow if they seemed to disperse or to leave Rome. 
Ignatius gives us the reasons which were urged on both sides. 
The decision, however, was at last unanimous in favour of the 
addition of a third vow of obedience to the vow of poverty and 
chastity ; and a document was drawn up, and signed by all the 
companions on the 15th of April 1539, which pledged them all 
to enter the Society as soon as it was approved by the Pope. 
The fourth vow, which is now taken by the Professed of the 
Society, to go on any mission on which the Pope shall send 
them, whether among Christians or among the heathen, was 
decided on the 4th of May. Other arrangements as to the 
teaching of children, the duration of the Generalate, and the 
' experiments' to which those who wished to enter the Society 
were to be subjected, were added, and the whole plan was then 
put on paper and submitted by Ignatius to the Pope. The Pope 
gave it for consideration to the Master of the Sacred Palace, — 

Labours in Italy and Rome, 5 5 

the great order of St. Dominic being made, as it were, to stand 
sponsor for the original constitution of the Society founded by 
Ignatius. Father Badia returned it to the Pope with great 
commendations, and it was finally approved, but only verbally, 
by Paul III. on Sept. 3, 1539, at Tivoli. The formal approba- 
tion, as to which the Pope at first hesitated, and which at one 
time seemed extremely improbable, on account of the strenu- 
ous and obstinate opposition of Cardinal Guidiccioni, who had 
taken up strongly the opinion that all religious orders ought 
to be reduced to four, was not granted till more than a year 
later, when, on the Feast of SS. Cosmas and Damian, Sept. 27, 
1540, Paul III. signed the bull Regimiiii militantis Ecclesice. 
Before that time Francis Xavier had left Rome and the side of 
Ignatius for ever. The bull was not formally promulgated till 
the spring of 1 541. 

Soon after the last points submitted for deliberation had 
been settled, the dispersion of the members of the future So- 
ciety had begun. In May, Simon Rodriguez and Brouet had 
been sent to Siena, along with Francis Strada, a young Span- 
iard whom Ignatius had fallen in with more than a year beiore, 
on his return from Monte Cassino. The object of the Pope in 
sending the Fathers to Siena was the restoration Oi discipline 
in a certain convent, but the benefit of their presence was soon 
felt in the whole town. Codurius preached in the summer at 
Velletri, and in the following Advent at Tivoli. Laynez and 
Favre were sent to accompany the Cardinal 01 St. Angelo in 
his Legation to Parma, where Jerome Domenech and some 
other valuable recruits were gained to the Society. Laynez 
laboured also at Piacenza and Reggio ; Bobadilla went to help 
in reviving religion, and indeed civil peace and order itselr, in 
Ischia, and preached with much fruit in Naples itself. ]\Iean- 
while Salmeron continued his lectures at Rome, and preached 
and heard confessions also : Codurius, Le Jay, Ignatius himselr, 
and Francis Xavier made up the- little company. Francis Xavier 
was the secretary, and kept up the correspondence with the ab- 
sent members. He thus began to be the chief letter writer 01 
the Society — but unfortunately those first Fathers were too busy 

5 5 St. Francis Xavier, 

and too frequently changing their abodes to keep letters. Thus 
the months passed on, until on the 15th of March 1540, Igna- 
tius called him to his room, and told him that it was his lot to 
leave Rome the next day in company with the Portuguese am- 
bassador, Pedro de Mascarenas, to join Simon Rodriguez, who 
had already sailed for Lisbon from Civita Vecchia, in the first 
missionary expedition of the Society to the East Indies. 

It was one of those providential arrangements which seem 
the result of simple chance. Govea, the Superior of the Col- 
lege of St. Barbara at Paris, who had been so nearly betrayed 
into an act of so much hostility and unfairness to Ignatius as 
the infliction upon him of a public flogging, and who had been 
converted to a better mind by the interview which the Saint 
sought with him, was now the trusted adviser of John III., King 
of Portugal, a zealous Christian Prince, most desirous of doing 
all in his power to further the spread of the Gospel truth in the 
new empire which had fallen into his hands in the extreme 
East. Govea had written to Ignatius about the great wants of 
the Indies, and he had recommended the King to apply for 
several of the companions of Ignatius as missionaries to the 
heathen there. The King ordered Mascarenas to make the 
request. The ambassador asked for six, Ignatius would only 
give two, and the Pope declined to force him to do more. 
Ignatius named Simon Rodriguez, naturally acceptable to the 
King, as he was himself a Portuguese of noble family, and 
Bobadilla, who was still labouring in the kingdom of Naples. 
Rodriguez sailed, as we have said, at once : he had but just 
returned from Siena, and was troubled with a quartan ague ; 
but nothing could stop him. He took with him as a companion 
Father Paul of Camerino, who had lately joined the compan- 
ions, and of whom we shall hear more in the letters of Francis 
Xavier. The second, or rather the third, of the missionaries 
was to travel to Portugal by land with Mascarenas. But Boba- 
dilla only reached Rome just before the time appointed for the 
departure of the ambassador, and when he arrived he fell so ill 
as to be unable to travel. The ambassador could not wait, and 
would not go without the promised missionary. A substitute 

Labours in Italy and Rome. 57 

had to be found at the last moment, and Ignatius gave to the 
Indian mission his very right hand, his secretary, the man for 
whose conversion he had laboured so industriously and so per- 
severingly at Paris. Xavier had just time to receive the part- 
ing blessing of Paul III., and then he embraced Ignatius for 
the last time, and set forth on the long journey, or series of 
journeys, which was to end twelve years and a half later on the 
little island of San Chan within sight of the shores of China. 

Francis in Lisbon, 

The appointment of Francis Xavier to the mission of the 
Indies appears, as we have said, to have been brought about 
by chance, and was certainly a variation from the original in- 
tention of Ignatius. It is nevertheless true that it was not 
unexpected by Francis himself. He had heard of the wonder- 
ful field opened to Apostolic labourers in the Indies by the 
establishment of the Portuguese dominion in those countries, 
and of the miserable darkness which involved so many millions 
of souls redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. He had 
longed to offer himself for such labours, and those who knew 
him most intimately had heard him utter strange words con- 
cerning them. Laynez used to relate afterwards how, when he 
was sleeping in the same room with Francis, he had sometimes 
been awakened by hearing him cry out as if under the strain 
of a great burthen, and how Francis had afterwards confessed 
that he had seemed to have been carrying on his shoulders an 
Indian, the weight of whom had seemed almost to crush him, 
and how he had found himself perfectly exhausted by his exer- 
tions. Simon Rodriguez, whom he was once nursing during 
an illness, had heard him cry out in his dreams, * More ! more !' 
and when Francis parted from him on his own voyage to the 
East, he told him as a last secret that he had then had repre- 
sented to him a vast scene of toil — labours, dangers, and suf- 
ferings which he was to undergo — and how God had given 
him the courage to desire that the sufferings might be even 
increased. These things show how much his mind was turned 
in that direction, as well as the magnanimous courage with 
which he was ready to encounter the career of toil now opened 
to him. 

The Society was not yet approved by the Holy Father 

Francis in Lisbon. 59 

except by word of mouth. The conclusion of the affair was 
expected daily, but it did not really take place till half a year 
after the time when Xavier left Rome. He placed in Laynez's 
hands a letter to be used when the time came for the mem- 
bers of the Society to give their suffrages. It contained three 
declarations. First of all, he declared that he accepted before- 
hand all the rules and constitutions which should be made by 
those of the Society who might be conveniently assembled at 
Rome, as soon as his Holiness granted his approbation to their 
plan. He knew that the companions would soon be dispersed 
into various countries, and he promised acquiescence in the 
arrangements of those who might be assembled, if only two 
or three or whoever they might be. This he signed with his 
name. A second part contained his suffrage for the election of 
Superior. He declared that he thought it right, in his consci- 
ence, that their old and true Father, Master Ignatius, who had 
brought them together with so much labour, should be their 
Superior. * He will know best how to preserve us, guide us, 
and urge us on to better things, because he thoroughly knows 
every one of us.' After his death. Master Peter Favre should, 
he thought, be chosen. A third declaration is added, in which 
he promises * now for then, when the Society shall have been 
collected, and a Superior chosen, perpetual poverty, chastity, 
and obedience therein.' He adjures Laynez, his dearest 
Father in Christ, to offer these his vows for him to the Superior 
who shall be elected.^ 

It was late in Lent when Francis left Rome. The account 
of his journey to Portugal, which lasted till nearly the end of 
June, is chiefly derived from his own letters, though they na- 
turally omit certain details as to himself which he was very 
unlikely to have mentioned. He reached Bologna soon after 
Easter, having passed through Lore to, where he paid his de- 
votions, again, and for the last time, in the Holy House of 
Nazareth. At Bologna he was received with enthusiasm, for 
the memory of his labours there two years before had not 
died away. On the first day of his arrival the church of Santa 
1 We print this letter in the Notes to this Book, 

6o Sf. Francis Xavier, 

Lucia, where he was to say mass, was full, two hours before 
day, of people who desired to assist at it, and he spent a great 
deal of time in hearing confessions and seeing old friends.^ 
He had a long interview with the Cardinal Legate, who pro- 
mised his favour to the Society. The following letter, in ans- 
wer to one which he had received from Ignatius, gives a short 
account of his proceedings, thus far, and it is full of that 
tender feeling of personal affection which made his apostolical 
exile from his friends a sacrifice of peculiar intensity to him. 

(ii.) To my brothers in our Lord Jesus Christy Don 
Ignatius and Don Peter Codacio^^ at the lor re Mel- 
angolo^ at the house of Signor Antonio FreripaniJ^ 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be ever 
with us, to help and favour us ! Amen. 

On Easter Day I received your letter which came with the 
despatches of my Lord Ambassador; and I cannot express all 
the joy and consolation which it has caused me — God our 
Lord alone knows it. For what is left of this life, I am well as- 
sured, it will be by letter only that we shall hold intercourse — 
in the other life, we shall ht facie ad faciem^ and embrace one 

2 Some years after this, the church of Santa Lucia itself was given to the 

3 Codacio was a priest, a native of Lodi, of a good family and considerable 
wealth (sacerdos honestus et clarus e Pontificii familia — of the Pope's house- 
hold — nee parvis Ecclesise opibus ac facultatibus prseditus) says Orlandini (ii. 66), 
who was the first Italian to enter the Society, and had begged to be allowed to 
act as its Procurator in temporal matters. Orlandini tells us that he was so 
useful to it that some people called it Codacio's Society. 

* The original of this letter was preserved at Bologna, in the College of St. 
Lucia, and P'ather Menchacha, the very careful editor of the Epistles of St. Fran- 
cis, says that he copied it out from the Spanish. (Proleg. p. liv.) It appears, 
however, somewhat altered in his text, as that part of his book had been printed 
before he made the comparison. We follow the original in our translation. 

" P. Poussines, who published a large collection of the Letters of St. Francis 
in i666, tells us in his Prolegomena, that whenever the Saint, writing in Spanish 
or Portuguese, puts in a few words in Latin, either as a quotation or otherwise, 
he has left them in italics in his own text. We shall insert them either in the 
text or in notes. See Menchacha, Ep. S. Francisci, t. i. p. xxxviii. 

Francis in Lisbon. 6i 

another perpetually. So what remains to us is that for this little 
time which we have still to pass in our mortal exile, we should 
take frequent looks at one another by means of letters, and 
for my part, I mean to do just as you bid me in this matter, 
and to keep the rule which little girls observe of writing 
constantly to their mothers. 

'I have had a long, leisurely, and perfectly open conversa- 
tion with my Lord Cardinal of Ivrea,^ as you commissioned me 
in your letter. He received me in the kindest way, offering 
with great earnestness to favour us in everything that lies in 
his power. The good old man embraced me when I left him 
and kissed his hand : and while he was talking, I could not 
help throwing myself at his feet, and kissing his hand in the 
name of all our Society. As far as I could judge from his 
answers to me, he highly approves our way of going on. 

The Lord Ambassador heaps so many favours and atten- 
tions upon me that I should never finish if I were to tell you all, 
and I don't know how I could ever have consented to accept 
them, if I did not reflect, and were not convinced, that in 
India I shall pay for them at the cost of my life and nothing 
less. On Palm Sunday I heard his confession in the Church 
of our Lady at Loreto, and gave him holy communion. I 
did the same to a number -of his people. I said mass in the 
Chapel of our Lady, and the good ambassador got all the 
people of his suite to receive holy communion with him in 
that Holy House. Again on Easter Day I heard his con- 
fession, gave him absolution, and afterwards communion, as 
well as to other good and religious persons of his household. 
His domestic Chaplain commends himself very much to all 
your prayers. He has promised to go with us to the Indies. 

Please, my dearest brother Don Pedro, to give my saluta- 
tions to Donna Faustina Ancolini, and remind her in my name, 
if it is not too much for you to do, to keep her promise to me 
that she would go to confession and communion. Tell her 
also, if you please, to write and let me know that she has 
done so, and how often. Tell her that I have said one mass 
^ Philibcrt Fcrreri, Bishop of Ivrca, Cardinal Legate of Bologna. 

62 St. Francis Xavier. 

for her and my dear Vincenzo, and that to-morrow I shall 
say one for herself. She may be quite sure, moreover, that I 
shall never forget her, even when I am in India. And tell 
her from me that if she wishes to do a thing that will give real 
pleasure to her and my dear Vincenzo, she will forgive those 
who killed her son, for Vincenzo certainly prays a great deal 
for them in heaven. Here in Bologna I have more to do 
hearing confessions than I had lately in Rome at San Luigi. 
My tenderest love to all of you ; if I do not mention each one 
by name, it is not, you may be quite sure, that I forget any 

Your Brother and Servant in Jesus Christ, 


Bologna, March 31st, 1540. 

We must suppose that the lady here spoken of had lost 
her son in one of the quarrels so frequent among the young 
men of the time, and had been consoled by Francis before his 

The next letter which we possess is written from Lisbon 
some time after his arrival there. 

(ill.) To the Fathers and Brothers of the Society of 
Jesus at Rome. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord be always our 
support and help ! Amen. 

We have received from Christ our Lord many and continual 
favours all through our journey from Rome into Portugal, which 
has taken us three months. That all that distance and time, 
through so many difficulties and toils, my Lord Ambassador and 
all his suite, from the highest to the lowest, should never have 
ceased to enjoy perfect health, is a matter for which we ought 
certainly to give great thanks and praise to Christ our Lord, es- 
pecially as over and above ordinary helps He has held a hand 
of particular protection over us to deliver us from all dangers, 
and was also pleased to inspire my Lord Ambassador with wis- 

Francis in Lisbon, Gt, 

dom and prudence to keep all his people in so holy an order, 
that they have seemed to be rather a reHgious community than 
a secular household. He managed this by himself frequenting 
the sacraments of penance and holy communion : his servants 
consequently did the same of their own accord, induced by so 
noble an example ; and this they did so often and in such large 
numbers, that often as we went along it was easy to foresee that 
when we got to our hostel we should have far too little time 
and too scanty convenience for satisfying the wants of so 
many ; and so I was obliged now and then to turn aside from 
the road and dismount and find a convenient place, so as to 
hear a part of the retinue beforehand. 

We had not yet got out of Italy when our Lord was pleased 
to show His power in a manner quite miraculous, on one of 
our company, a servant of my Lord Ambassador. It was the 
same man whom you saw at Rome first put off, through weak- 
ness and cowardice, the design he had formed of embracing the 
religious life, and afterwards abandon it altogether. We came 
on a large river, and no one knew whether or where there was 
a ford. This poor man was urged by his own rashness to try 
to find it, though we all cried out to him not to do it ; all in 
vain, for he rode on into the channel of the stream, though he 
knew nothing of its depth.- He had not gone far, when the 
force of the current overpowered his horse, and carried it away 
together with its rider. We all looked on in heartfelt pity. 
The stream bore him down in a moment, quite as far as the dis- 
tance from your house at Rome to San Luigi's. And then our 
Lord God vouchsafed to hear the ardent prayers which His ser- 
vant, my Lord Ambassador, poured forth at that pitiable sight, 
praying, and all his servants with him, non sine lacrymis^ for what 
was in all human appearance the desperate case of that poor 
fellow. Our Lord heard their prayers, and saved him from the 
very jaws of destruction by a manifest miracle. The man was 
Master of the Horse in my Lord's household. No doubt when 
he was being carried along by the whirling stream he would 
much have preferred the inside of a monastery to his present 
case. And his greatest trouble at this time, as he told me 

64 St, Francis Xavier, 

himself afterwards, was the memory of the opportunity hs had 
refused, and which then he would have willingly regained at 
any price whatsoever. He told me that he was much less over- 
whelmed by horror at the danger he was in at that dreadful 
moment than by the sting of his conscience, which keenly 
reproached him with having led a careless life without making 
provision for death, and he added, that at that critical juncture 
he was tormented above all by tardy repentance for having put 
off his entrance into religion, to which he had felt that God 
certainly called him. He was so full of these thoughts when 
we recovered him that he fell to exhorting the whole company 
not to sin in the same way. His face and countenance were 
all changed, pale beyond expression, and marked with the 
sense of the danger he had run ; he seemed a man come back 
from hell, and all this gave great weight to his words. He 
discoursed long and pathetically upon the torments of the 
damned, like a man who had experienced them : and he said 
over and over again that it was very true indeed, that a man 
who during life had not thought of preparing for death, had no 
time to remember God when the necessity of death was upon 
him. Such was the discourse of this good man, discourse not 
gathered from reading books, or from studious meditation, but 
dictated by his own experience. And when I think this over, I 
am deeply moved at the very similar carelessness of many 
whom in various ways we have made acquaintance with and 
known as friends, whom I see putting off in the same way the 
execution of good plans and holy desires to serve God, which 
they acknowledge to have felt. And I fear very much that they, 
too, may find themselves some day surprised by a time when 
they may most ardently desire to accomplish what they had 
determined and will then have no power of accomplishing. 

[The lives of Francis Xavier are unanimous in attributing 
the miraculous rescue of the poor man here mentioned to the 
prayers of the Saint. It needs but little acquaintance with 
the manner of speaking and writing of matters in which they 
themselves are concerned which is common to great servants 

Francis in Lisbon.. 6^ 


of God, to see through the veil which his humility has here 
thrown over his own part in the afiair, as well as over his in- 
fluence in producing the marvellous piety and regularity which 
prevailed in the whole company during the journey. Two 
other instances of his charity and its preternatural reward are 
mentioned in the same histories. In the first case he is said 
to have risked his own life to save the secretary of the ambas- 
sador, who had fallen over a precipice in the Alps into a deep 
cavity in the snow, and in the second to have saved another of 
the party who had ridden on in advance and fallen under his 
horse in a very dangerous manner. 

Francis also makes no mention of an incident on the jour- 
ney which has often been mentioned as an instance of that close 
adherence to the words of our Lord and to the spirit of an 
Apostolical vocation which is characteristic of men such as he. 
The road through Spain passed at no great distance from the 
Castle of Xavier, where his mother, of whom he was the 
youngest and perhaps the darhng son, was still living. The 
ambassador knew this, and was expecting Francis to apply to 
him for leave to turn aside for a short time, in order to visit 
his mother for the last time. When Francis said nothing, 
Mascarenas began to urge him to take the opportunity, and 
to offer to make arrangements for his convenience. But he 
only answered that they would meet with all the greater joy in 
heaven for having taken no leave of one another on earth. 
lS Francis only knew of his destination for India the day be- 
>re he left Rome, and travelled quite as fast as an ordinary 
lessenger could have travelled, it is certain that he could not 
jave apprized his family of his journey, and that therefore they 
^ould not have expected him. The pain of foregoing a last 
tender interview was all his own. 

The letter, which we have for a moment interrupted, con- 
^nues as follows :] 

On the very day of our arrival in Lisbon I fell in with 
Master Simon, who was expecting the access oi a quartan 
fever, which, as was thought, was due at that very time. But 

VOL. I. F 

66 St, Francis Xavier, 

he was so extremely glad to see me — not more glad than I was 
to see and to embrace him — that his joy sent away his fever 
and all its effects, and neither that day, nor ever since, has 
he felt anything of the kind, though it is now a month since 
our arrival. He is perfectly reestablished in health, and labours 
hard in our Lord's vineyard, not without gathering in much 

The number of persons here who are friendly and well 
disposed towards us is very great, indeed so great that I am 
much concerned not to be able, on account of their multitude, 
to return to all of them, one by one, all due observance in the 
way of salutations and visits, which it would certainly be a duty 
to return, if time allowed us to fulfil the obligation, on account 
of the honourable and conspicuous dignity of the greater part 
of these persons. I have also observed a great many who are 
inclined to good things, and desirous of serving God, to whom 
it would be a most salutary thing to give some of the Spiritual 
Exercises, in order to help them to form the resolutions of exe- 
cuting at once what they go on putting off^^ die in diem. 
For whatever haste men may make to execute what they know 
they ought to do, it is not easy for them to escape having 
something to answer for to God on the ground of overmuch 
delay, and thus it is well to use great attention in putting to 
flight the excuses which occur for continuing to temporize. 
The full knowledge of this obligation puts very salutary spurs 
to many men's sides, which make them feel as if they were 
roused from a sort of lethargy, so as to see that where there is 
no peace to be found they will never find it — those men 
especially I speak of, who against all reason try to draw God 
whither they wish, and refuse to go where He calls them, allow- 
ing themselves to be moved more by their own disordered 
affections than by the good desires which He breathes into 
their hearts. Far more worthy, certainly, of pity than envy ! 
All those whom we see straining themselves to climb up a 
path so steep and rugged, toiling up hill with continual labour, 
are seeking after all nothing but the risk of a headlong fall, or 
rather the certain catastrophe of a miserable ruin. 

Francis in Lisbon, 67 

After we had been in this royal city three or four days, the 
King sent for us, and received us with the utmost kindness. 
He was alone, in his cabinet, with the QueenJ We remained 
with him for an hour, or a little more. Their Highnesses 
asked us many questions, particularly about our Institute, how 
long ago and in what manner we had come to know one an- 
other and unite ourselves in a body, then what had been the 
scope of our first plans, and lastly about the persecutions we 
had suffered. They were delighted with our account of the 
manner in which the truth had at last been discovered, and 
praised us in particular for having carried the matter on with 
constancy and courage to the extreme issue of a judicial sent- 
ence. The King expressed a desire to see with his own eyes 
th6 sentence by which we were absolved. It is certainly the 
general opinion of all that we acted both piously and wisely 
in never letting anything persuade us to desist from urging on 
the cause to the final publication of the sentence. Most people 
here go so far in praising us for this, as to say that they cannot 
help expressing the opinion that if we had not done what we 
did, it appears to them that we should never have been in a 
position to reap any fruit from our ministrations. So, as I said, 
they are never tired of praising our constancy in braving it out 
intrepidly on to the final issue of the sentence which at length 
put the truth forward in full light. To return to the King 
and Queen, they were much pleased with all the details which 
they heard from us of the form and system of our houses, and 
of the object and scope of our ministrations, and of the whole 
Institute. During our audience, the King sent for the Infanta, 
lis daughter, and the Prince Royal his son, that we might see 
them, and told us in the kindest manner how many sons and 
laughters the Lord had given him, and who of them were 
lead and who living. 

Both their Highnesses, King and Queen alike, have showed 
is great affection. The King urged us with much earnestness, 
>n the very day of our first interview, to hear the confessions 
>fthe pages of his household. For he has ordered that all 
'' The Queen was Catharine of Austria, sister of the Emperor Charles V. 

68 St, Francis Xavier. 

the young noblemen who frequent the Court should go to con- 
fession once a week, and he has seriously charged us to look 
to the execution of this order and to have our eyes on all these 
youths. He gave the following reason for his care in this 
respect, that he considered that if young men in this position 
ivere accustomed from their childhood to know and serve God, 
they would grow up in later life good and virtuous men.^ Then 
if the nobles are what they ought to be, the common people 
will doubtless form itself after their example, and thus the 
hopes of restoring good morals among all the seculars of the 
kingdom turn upon the good education of the youth of the 
upper classes. For it certainly is beyond doubt that if that 
first order in the kingdom were conspicuous for holiness, a 
large part of the remainder would be drawn to follow their 

We have certainly great reason to praise God for the religious 
disposition and the zeal of this excellent King for the promo- 
tion of the Divine glory, and for the great piety with which he 
is inclined to everything that is good and holy ; and we of the 
Society of Jesus in particular are very much his debtors, for 
his extreme kindness to all of us, to you at Rome as well as 
to us who are here. The ambassador, who has had a conversa- 
tion with the King since our audience, told me that he had said 
that he should be greatly delighted if he could collect and have 
near him all those who have as yet entered the Society, even 
though the cost of feeding them and furnishing them with 
necessaries were to consume a large part of the revenues of 
the Crown. 

We know that a great number of our friends here are making 
efforts to oppose our departure for India, because they think 
that here we should reap greater fruits by hearing confessions, 
by familiar instructions, by giving the Spiritual Exercises, and 
by exhorting all the faithful to make frequent confessions and 
communions ; in short by working diligently in that same sort 
of teaching which we mean to adopt in the Indies. Among 

^ One of these young nobles was Miguel de Souza, who entered the Society, 
and was a man of conspicuous virtue. 

Francis in Lisbon. 69 

the persons who think this are the Confessor and the Preacher 
of the King, who both urge him to keep us here in the hope 
0£ more abundant fruit. Certain others hold different lan- 
guage, and talk wonderfully about the results that may be ex- 
pected from our ministry in India. Those who speak thus are 
men of authority on such subjects, having lived many years in 
the Indies. They say that they have remarked that the native 
tribes are very well disposed to accept the religion of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, if it be offered them by representatives and 
teachers such as we are — they mean whose way of proceeding 
is far removed from all appearance of avarice. If therefore 
we retain out there also what we show here, the same absten- 
tion from and contempt of worldly convenience and gain, 
they say that without any doubt we shall in a iQ\Y years con- 
vert two or three kingdoms of idolaters to the faith of Jesus 
Christ, and that the people will not hesitate to believe us and 
trust us, as soon as they have found out for certain that we 
seek nothing but the salvation of souls. These assurances, 
given us by persons of such character, who have had experi- 
ence on the spot, and who have, as I have said, passed many 
years in India, beget in us a great confidence of reaping in 
that country most abundant fruits for the glory of God. 

Here we are taking great pains to find out priests who, set- 
ting before themselves no reward but that of serving God and 
helping the salvation of souls, may be willing to go with us to 
India, and indeed we can see nothing by which we can, at this 
moment, do more service or give greater pleasure to our Lord 
than by gaining such associates. For if we could but gather 
together a band of only as many as twelve such priests, who 
would be willing to unite themselves to us with one heart in 
these plans and purposes, it is unquestionable that we should 
find it well worth our labour. And already some such ofier 
themselves to us. We have fallen in with a priest whom we 
knew in Paris, and who has promised us to come and remain 
with us until death, sharing our manner of life and all our de- 
signs. We think ourselves certain enough of him, for he has 
given us fair proofs and pledges of constancy of will. There 

70 St, Francis Xavier, 

is also another, a subdeacon, who will soon be a priest, who 
offers himself for the same object with great fervour. And 
further, a certain Doctor of Medicine, who was at one time a 
familiar acquaintance of ours at Paris, has promised to sail with 
us to India, and that there he will avail himself of his medical 
knowledge, as far as shall be expedient, for the good of souls, 
and to draw them to the saving knowledge of their Creator, 
without seeking any temporal reward by his services. This 
one thing above all we keep in view always, that those whom 
we take as companions should be entirely free from all desire 
of gain. Nor will this in itself be enough, unless we are also 
altogether free from even the most distant appearance of it, so 
that neither in ourselves nor in those who have near relations 
with us, shall there be seen anything at all which may give rise 
to the slightest suspicion that we have come there to seek and 
acquire temporal rather than spiritual goods. 

His Highness has spoken to the Bishop, who is our friend, 
and also to his own Confessor, about using us as public preach- 
ers in the sacred pulpit. But as we desired to begin with more 
lowly offices, we at first put the matter off and showed our wish 
not to occupy ourselves in preaching, although those who know 
us are very desirous to hear us in the pulpits in the churches. 
But one day the King sent for us, and, after many other things, 
told us that it would gratify him if we were to preach. So 
then we offered ourselves for the work with the greatest readi- 
ness, not only on account of our eagerness, and indeed our 
duty, to follow the injunctions of his Highness, but also on ac- 
count of our hope, founded on the help of Christ our Lord 
accompanying our efforts, of spending our labours with some 
useful profit for souls. We shall begin next Sunday week; 
and the special goodwill which is shown to us on all sides by 
the inhabitants of this city forbids us to doubt of a favourable 
reception. What we implore of our Lord with repeated prayers 
is this, that He will be pleased to increase the faith of those 
who charitably hope for some good from us.^ And this good 
opinion concerning us which has got abroad so happily in 
9 ui aii^eat eorumfidem qui de nobis aliquam expectationem habent, (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon, 7 1 

these parts will, we hope, be an occasion to God, out of His 
immense goodness, in which alone we trust, of imparting to us, 
if not for our own sakes, at least for the sake of the people 
here yvho show so much faith and devotion in listening to us, 
such knowledge and grace that we may be able to console 
them, and to speak to them the things that are necessary or 
useful to them for the salvation of their souls. 1® 

To all of you, my dearest in Christ, 


Lisbon, July 3d, 1540. 

The sanguine hopefulness which was always characteristic 
of Francis Xavier, and which is so often allied with that great 
afifectionateness of heart which became in him, as in St. Paul, 
the foundation of many of the distinctively Apostolical graces 
which he received, is hardly more conspicuous in this letter 
than the strong feeling, almost of indignation mingled with 
alarm and pity, with which he regarded the case of so many 
who seemed to him to be resisting or trifling with a high voca- 
tion offered to them in the counsels of God. He will be con- 
tent with a band of only twelve priests, who were to live the 
same sort of life with himself and have the same single aim 
in the preaching of the Gospel. It does not appear that he 
meant them necessarily to- become members of the Society. 
We shall find that these moderate expectations were to turn 
out to be very far in excess of what the future reserved for him 
in the way of companionship. We cannot tell whether the 
priest from Paris persevered in his desire of entering the Com- 
pany, but he did not sail for India. The subdeacon, if he were 
Francis Mancias, who Xavier afterwards says was not yet in 
any holy orders, went to India, and though he did not always re- 
main with St. Francis, we owe much to him for having preserved 
to us a large number of the letters of his Apostolical Superior. 
Nor do we hear anything more of the Doctor of Medicine. 
Francis Xavier might have been disconcerted if he had known, 

i'> ut possimtis consolari eos, et guce vel necessaria vel utilia sunt ad anima 
rum salutem dicere. (Latin words in the original.) 

72 St. Francis Xavier. 

too, that Simon Rodriguez, his own intimate friend, was to re- 
main in Portugal, and that he was himself to be the only one 
of the original companions who took the voyage to the East. 
But, as we shall see, there was at one time great danger lest 
the Eastern mission should be abandoned altogether, as far as 
Francis and his companions were concerned. All of the first 
disciples of Ignatius seem to have been endowed in some high 
degree with that charming attractiveness which is one of the 
prerogatives of great holiness, and which sometimes is imparted 
in a measure even to those who have had much intercourse 
with men who have the gift in its perfection. Certainly of all 
these Francis Xavier and Simon Rodriguez were not the least 
likely pair to win to themselves the hearts of those among 
whom they moved. Their manner of life was humble and 
morticed. They lodged in the Hospital, though an apartment 
had been prepared for them in the Palace, and they lived on 
alms which they collected for themselves daily. After a time, 
however, their spiritual labours increased so much and re- 
quired so much time, that they judged it expedient to beg 
alms only once or twice a week, as an exercise of humility and 
mortification, and they lived on the food sent to them from the 
Palace, or rather on a portion of it. The rest they gave to the 
poor. Shortly after their arrival, the prisoners of the Inquisi- 
tion were placed under their spiritual charge by the Cardinal, 
Don Henry. Their conversation and character drew all to 
them, and the King began to consider that they might do less 
good in the distant East than in the capital of his own States. 
The question thus raised is mentioned in the following letter, 
written before the end of July, about three weeks after the 
preceding. We shall see that Francis, even after so short an 
interval, speaks much more moderately as to his hopes of com- 
panions for India. 

Francis in Lisbon, y.^ 

(iv.) To the Father Master Ignatius of Loyola. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord ever help and 
favour us ! Amen. 

After I had written the other day at great length about 
affairs here, certain points have occurred to me which I then 
omitted. Here are some. If the Brief which concerns the 
whole Society is as yet published, send us, I beseech you, a 
copy. The King and all our friends in Portugal will be glad 
to see it, as well as the sentence of the Governor of Rome, 
when we were declared innocent. The King has asked for the 
book of the Exercises, wishing to see it. If you think proper 
to send us also one of the corrected copies, it would give his 
Highness much pleasure. This great Prince is, in fact, wonder- 
fully well disposed towards the whole Society, and it seems 
as if nothing that we can do for him would be too much in the 
way of gratitude for the singular and very great love which he 
bears us. I have received two letters from you, both very 
short : one dated the 8th June, the other the ist May. It will 
gratify my Lord Ambassador very much to receive a letter from 
you. You would hardly believe how carefully he keeps that 
one which you did write to him, and which he received on our 
journey from Rome into Portugal; he preserves it with the 
greatest care. If you cannot write to him yourself, manage at 
least that the letters which we receive from Strada may be such 
as we can show him. 

At this moment we are preparing to give the Exercises to 
two licentiates in theology, one of whom is a very famous 
preacher, and the other preceptor to the King's brother, the 
Infant, Don Henry. We are striving also to make other per- 
sons of distinction desire to have them, for we are convinced 
that the more earnestly they wish for them the more abundant 
fruit will they reap from them. There is really great reason 
for praising God our Lord, when we see the number of persons 
here who frequent the sacraments of penance and holy com- 

74 *5/. Francis Xavier. 

Determine what you think best to do with Francis Strada, 
whether you will like to send him to the University of Coimbra. 
In that University neither he nor others will want the resources 
necessary for their studies, if we may judge from the fact that 
people there are very well inclined to all that is pious and 
good. Hence we do not doubt that before long some kind 
of a College of ours will be founded in that University. When 
an opportunity offers we shall not fail to treat with the King 
about getting up a College of Students : but for this we shall 
want to be told what your mind is as to the form of such an 
establishment, and the method of life to be followed in it, the 
person who is to rule the community, and the discipline under 
which the members are to live, in order that they may grow in 
spirit more than in letters J ^ We want this, that when we speak 
with the King, we may explain to him the kind of life which 
is to be led by those who study in our Colleges. On all this 
subject, then, I wish very much that you would write at good 
length. It does not seem as if anything would prevent our 
having a house built there for receiving our Masters and Scho- 
lars, or indeed other houses of our Institute. People here 
would very willingly build houses for us, if there were any per- 
sons to inhabit them. 

Our friend, the Bishop, has told us that the King has not 
yet made up his mind whether he will send us to India, because 
he thinks we should serve our Lord as well in Portugal as there; 
but two Bishops, who judge differently, have urged that we 
ought on no account to be kept here, but by all means be sent 
to India, because they think that in that case some Indian 
King will be converted. We keep ourselves intent upon ag- 
gregating companions, and I think, as things become gradu- 
ally more clear and definite, we shall not fail to find some. 
If we remain here, we shall found several houses. It will be 
easier to find people who will join us to remain in this coun- 
try, than to go to India ; but if we go there, and if God our 
Lord grant us some years of life, we will found with His help 
some houses in India and Ethiopia. 

11 tU crescant magis in spiritu quam in Uteris. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon, ys 

If the Brief about our whole Society is not yet issued, at 
any rate I entreat you to see that we have powers granted us 
to found houses of the Institute among the heathen. But 
whether we are to remain estabhshed here or to sail for India, 
I beg of you, for the sake of the love and service of God our 
Lord, to write to us the method and order which we should 
observe in receiving new members into our Society, and to ■ 
do this iniiltum ad longum^ for you know well enough how very 
little cleverness we have ; so that if you don't help us, an occa- 
sion of promoting the greater service of our Lord God may be 
lost on account of our want of experience in managing such 
business. Farewell. 

Your holy Charity's least son in Christ, 


Lisbon, July 26, 1540. 

It is in such private letters as this last— for the former must 
have been meant to be passed from hand to hand — that the 
beautiful humility and self-diffidence of Francis Xavier most 
frequently break out, especially when he is addressing his most 
tenderly loved father, Ignatius. The mention of the University 
of Coimbra in this letter shows us that the mind of Francis 
was much occupied with the desire of seeing the Society per- 
manently established in the great seat of learning in Portugal. 
The Constitutions of the Society were, of course, not yet in ex- 
istence, and there was the greatest need of some definite plan 
on which such foundations as that contemplated in the letter 
should be framed. Francis had an uncle at Coimbra, the cele 
brated Master of Azpilqueta, called Navarrus, or the Doctor of 
Navarre. He appears to have earnestly desired to see Francis, 
and even to have requested the King to send him to Coimbra. 
He offered to give two courses of lectures more than he was 
obliged to give if the King would consent, and at a later time 
offered himself to go to India, but Francis told him that a man 
of his age and acquirements was better employed at home. We 
have two letters from Francis to Doctor Martin, which may be 
here inserted. 

7 6 S/, Francis Xavier. 

(v.) To the very Reverend my Lord the Doctor of 
Azpilqueta^ at Coimbra. 

Very Reverend Sir, 

Since I have been in this city, I have received two 
letters from you full of tenderness and charity towards me.^- 
May our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of Whom moved you to 
write to me, reward you duly for your so great kindness ! lor I, 
wish it as much as I may, am unable to discharge the debt for 
myself, or to answer as I ought to your extreme benevolence 
to one so unworthy and so poor. So I must acknowledge and 
confess my inability in this respect, and understanding as I 
do by the mercy of God,^^ Whose singular gift it is that we 
know ourselves, how useless I am for everything good,'* I shall 
make some little effort, such as I may, to discharge this duty, 
and then I have determined to place all my hope and con- 
fidence in God, seeing that I am unable to return to any one 
favour for favour in equal measure, and in truth I find great 
consolation in the thought that God is able to return to that 
holy soul of yours and to others like you a most abundant 
recompense on my behalf'^ 

With regard to the wish that you manifest of knowing of 
my affairs, and especially of my rule of life,i6 it would be a great 
joy to me if we could have an opportunity of meeting, for no 
one could be readier than I am to tell you with the utmost ful- 
ness all that you desire to know in this respect. And I am not 
without hope that God our Lord, among the many favours with 
which His Divine Majesty most indulgently and mercifully 
loads me day by day, may .add also this very special grace to 

12 amoris ac pietatis erga me flenas. (Oiig.) 

13 per Dei clementiam. (Orig.) 

1-1 guatn iiiutilis ad ovinia sim. (Orig.) 

15 This is in Latin in the original : studui spent omnem etfiduciam meant 
in Deo f oner e, videns me nemini posse cequam gratiam referre ; et hoc me plu- 
rimum solatur, quod potetis est Deus sanctcs anifncs tucs et similibus retributi' 
onem a?nplissimampro me dare. 

1^ et prcesertim de mece vitce instituto. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon. 77 

all the rest, that I may see you for once in this life and talk 
with you at leisure, before my companion and I set sail for the 
Indies. There will be time for me to give you the most ample 
account of all things as to which you question me in your let- 
ter. There is too much of them for me to do it conveniently 
in writing. You add, that people talk a great deal, as men 
will talk, about our Institute. As to this, for the present I 
will only answer. It matters little, most excellent Doctor, how 
we are judged of by men, and especially by men who judge of 
matters before they understand them.^^ 

Bias Lopez, who will give you this letter from me, wishes 
earnestly to place himself under your patronage and teaching. 
I love him very much, and he in return has a singular love 
for me, and for the sake of this bond between us, I beg of you 
to be good enough, if prayer of mine have any power with 
you — and so great is your goodness, that I know my prayers 
have no little such poweri^— accept kindly, as from me and on 
my recommendation, the great devotion which he offers you, 
wishing above all things to serve you as his good Patron, and 
to place himself under your teaching as a Master. So, I pray 
you, put him down as one of your own people, in which, be- 
sides that you will do, as I hope, a thing pleasing to our Lord 
God, you will also confer a singular favour on me. I shall 
indeed be obliged to you, as for a great and peculiar favour, 
if you will have the condescension to take charge of this 
good youth and to direct and help him in his studies. His 
intention and desire is to devote his youth to the careful study 
of those branches of learning in which you excel so much. 
You may well consider how much you owe to God, Who has 
enriched you with that rare talent of great learning — not 
certainly for your own benefit alone, but that you may be of 
assistance to many others besides yourself. But may God our 

17 Here also the original has the Latin sentences : multa fro hominum coft- 
suetudine de nostra Instituto did — and again, i)arum refer t, Doctor egregie, 
ab hominibus judicari, prcesertim ab its qui priiis judicant qudm intelliga7tf. 

■18 The original inserts the Latin words : si preces niece apud te quidpiam 
possunt (possunt atctem mult um per iuam humajiitatem). 

yS St. Francis Xavier, 

Lord have us both aUke and always in His holy keeping ! 

Your servant in Christ, while he lives,^9 

Francis Xavier. 

Lisbon, Sept. 28, 1540. 

(vi.) To the Doctor Martin of Azpilqueta, 

The letter which you wrote to me on the 15th of October 
has caused me so much joy and consolation, that I find no- 
thing gives me so much refreshment as to read it over, after 
having longed for it no very short time.^o It lets me see all 
the piety that animates those holy labours and occupations in 
which you spend your time; for a work of great piety indeed 
it is to instruct in learning those who desire learning only for 
the sake of giving themselves wholly and singly to the service 
of Jesus Christ our Lord. And so I do not feel that pity for 
your Reverence which I really should feel if I thought that 
you did not use, as a faithful servant should use them, those 
very excellent gifts with which it has pleased Christ our Lord 
to adorn you, for I am quite sure that, however great and 
fatiguing may have been the toil by which the prize is won, 
very far greater will be the prize itself, when one who has 
been faithful in little shall be set over many things.-^ And if 
just at present you have to exert yourself particularly in giv- 
ing a lecture or two more than is your wont, yet, after all, you 
ought to find fresh strength for this, so as to do it with the 
utmost willingness, in the thought that there may have been 
times when you have been less industrious than the excellent 
talent given you by God might require. And we certainly, 
who rejoice in all that is good for you, are delighted to see 
you work off old obligations in this way yourself, rather than 
leave them to be discharged by those who are to come after 
you. For there are many who suffer punishment in the next 

19 Tims hi Chrisio, quoadusque vixerit. (Orig.) 

20 a me per multos jam dies optata. (Orig.) 

21 quando super multa erit constUutus, qui in modico fuit fidelis. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon, 79 

world because they have trusted more than was right to the 
executors of their wills, and in this way it is a terrible thing 
to fall into the Hands of the Living God, and most especially 
in giving an account of our stewardship.^^ 

May God, Who has so liberally given you such an abund- 
ance of learning that you have plenty to give to others, make 
you equally liberal in imparting it to those who desire only to 
know how to serve the Creator and Lord of all, setting before 
your eyes the glory of God and the increase thereof ! Most 
certainly the Lord of all law and justice will grant to us that, 
if in this life we have been companions in His sufferings, in 
the next we shall be companions in consolation. So it will in- 
fallibly be, most excellent Doctor.23 I won't say more at pre- 
sent, putting it off till the day when I may talk to you face to 
face. That day will come, though you do not think it will. 
That special love to me, which your letter shows me, makes 
it impossible that I should refuse to do as you wish in this 
matter. As for the love I bear to you, I say nothing of it. 
Our Lord, Who sees to the very bottom of the hearts of both 
of us, knows how dear you are to mine. Adieu, excellent 
Doctor, and keep me in your wonted love.^* 

Your humble servant in Christ, 

Francis Xavier. 

Lisbon, November 4, 1540. 

We have no record of the meeting between uncle and 
nephew of which this last letter speaks as probable. Master 
Azpilqueta mentions that Francis wrote to him at his departure, 
in answer to his offer to go to India himself, comforting him 
for their separation with the hope of a speedy meeting in the 
Kingdom of Heaven. Neither have we any more detailed 
account of the Hfe of Francis in Lisbon during the remainder 

22 et ideo horrendum est incidere in manus Dei viventis, frcescrtim in red' 
dendd vilUcationis ratione. (Orig.) 

23 dab it Dominus juris [et itafiet, Doctor egrcgie) ut in alid vitd socii con- 
solationum simus, si in hac fueritmis passionum comiies. (Orig.) 

^-i Ego vera meum erga te amoris vinculum taceo: Dominus novit, qui am- 
borum mentem solus ipse rimat, quam mihi sis intimus corde. Vale, Doctor 
c^regie, et 7ne, ut soles, ama. (Orig.) 

8o St, Francis Xavier, 

of the year 1540, except such as is contained in the next hasty 
letter in our series, written some weeks earlier than the last 
to Dr. Azpilqueta. It appears that there was still some hesi- 
tation entertained by the Pope as to the Society, and that 
Ignatius had asked Francis to induce the King of Portugal to 
exert his influence for the furtherance of their interests. Igna- 
tius had as yet not been able to give a distinct answer to the 
College at Coimbra. 

(vii.) To the Father Master Ignatius of Loyola and 
Peter Codacio^ at B^ome. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

The courier is ready to start and in a great hurry, and we 
are obliged to write these few lines as fast as we can. We can 
just tell you we are well, and are increasing. We are now six 
here, all acquaintances in old days in Paris, except two. Fathers 
Paul and Emanuel a Sancta Clara. Thus has it pleased our 
Lord to prosper our desires and exertions, by giving us these 
fellow labourers with us for the purpose of making His name 
great among the nations who know Him not. 

We attribute the fruit which we here reap from our minis- 
trations to the favour of God which you at Rome gain for us. 
This fruit hx surpasses our capacity, learning or intelligence. 
Such numbers of persons, and persons 01 the highest rank, 
come to us to open their consciences in holy coniession, that 
we have not time enough to satisfy them all. The Prince Don 
Henry, Grand Inquisitor of the Kingdom, and the King's bro- 
ther, has often urged on us to take spiritual charge Ox the per- 
sons in the prisons 01 the Holy Inquisition. We visit them 
every day, and apply ourselves to make them understand how 
great a favour God has done them in placing them in this 
school of penance. Once a day we give them all together an 
exhortation, and we also give them the Exercises oi the first 
weeks, to their great comfort and advantage. A large number 

Francis in Lisbon. 81 

of them tell us that they acknow ledge it as a singular favour 
of God that they now hear as thty do from us, what they have 
never heard before, so many truths, the knowledge of which is 
necessary for their salvation. 

A few days ago we sent you letters from the King to the 
Holy Father and to his ambassador at Rome, in which he 
recommends the interests of our Society as if they were his 
own. To obtain recommendations of this kind from the Court 
here we have no longer need of any third person, we can do 
it all ourselves. And now too, if the King were not in great 
grief on account of the death of Prince Edward, he would have 
written again to his Holiness and to the Cardinal of the Quattro 
Coronati, as well as to other persons at Rome whose favour 
may be necessary or useful for our interests. But he is, as I 
say, so overwhelmed with grief, and so struck down by the 
death of the Prince his brother,-^ that he is shut up at home 
and receives no one. All business is suspended by this sad 
grief. We must allow a certain respite to such affectionate 
sorrow. In a few days, after the keenest pangs are past, we 
will obtain as many letters as you can wish to whoever you 
may name from this excellent King. 

We have here living in community with us a person who 
has finished his course at Paris. Master Gonsalvo Medeiros 
is his name ; he is not yet in orders. We beg of you from the 
service of our Lord God to "obtain and send here a rescript of 
the Pope, by virtue of which he may be ordained extra consiieta 
te?npora, and may receive the sacred orders on three successive 
feasts, so that he may be ordained priest before we sail for 
India.26 It might be necessary also that the privilege should 
be obtained, to be communicated to six clerics at our choice, 
of using the new Breviary.27 This might be of some use in 

25 This brother was the Infant Edward, Duke of Guimaraens, the sixth son 
of Emanuel the Fortunate. He had two daughters, one o. whom married the 
Duke 01 Braganza, whose grandson succeeded to the throne in 1640 as John IV., 
on the revolution which overthrew the Spanish domination in Portugal. 

^(5 This Father, however, remained in Portugal with Simon Rodriguez. 

27 This must have been the short Breviary ai'ranged by Cardinal Quignon in 

VOL. I. G 

82 5/. Francis Xavier. 

more readily inducing some to be willing to follow us to India. 
We conjure you, by the love of our Lord, to get the Brief 
under which we are to be sent to India forwarded to us as 
quickly as possible. The time for setting out is coming near. 
We have great hopes of plentiful fruit to follow from our voyage. 
Let us know, we beseech you, as soon as possible, how we 
are to arrange as to those who have either been to Paris for 
their studies, or are going there. Give us also a clear answer 
as to what I wrote about Strada, and touching the plan of 
founding a house for our students in the University of Coim- 
braj for we can depend for this work and other pious works of 
the same sort upon the favour of the Princes and the liberal- 
ity of rich men here. Let us know therefore at once what 
you have settled upon as to this, that according to what you 
may command we may endeavour to carry into effect what 
shall seem to be most expedient for the glory of God.^^ The 
man is snatching this out of my hands, reproaching me for 
keeping him so long. So what I have thus far written is to 
do duty for a letter of Master Simon as well as of my own ; 
and he shall put his signature in the name of both of us, which 
is to stand for the seal. 

In the name of both of us, 

Master Simon. 

Lisbon, October 12th, 1540. 

Before this letter was written, all doubt as to the Institute 
of the Society was removed by its confirmation by Paul III. 
on the 27th of September. A great number of masses and 
prayers had been offered by Ignatius and his brethren for the 
influential persons who opposed the approbation which the 
Pope was inclined to give, and these had their effect in the 
wonderful conversion of Cardinal Guidiccioni to the cause of the 
Society. He was a man of much weight from his learning and 
virtue, and had formed one of a commission a year or two be- 
fore, ordered to examine into the abuses of the clergy, which had 
reported to the Pope that great scandals existed in monastic 

23 magis expedire ad laudeni Doinmi, (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon. 83 

houses. He was known to be strongly bent against the founda- 
tion of any new orders. Indeed, that commission had actually 
proposed to the Pope to extinguish all the orders by forbidding 
them to receive novices ; after they had died out, a new gene- 
ration might revive the primitive fervour. Guidiccioni had 
been appointed by the Pope one of the three Cardinals who 
were to examine the proposed plan of the Society; and St. Igna- 
tius and his companions met his opposition by prayer. He 
would not at first look at the papers : but after a time he de- 
sired that they should be read to him, and then approved them 
entirely. There can be no doubt that this wonderful change 
in so important an opponent must have helped on the approval 
of the rule in a singular manner. The bull Regi7nini milita?itis 
EccksicB, which gives a succinct account of the principles and 
objects of the Society, was, as we have said, not published till 
the April of 1541, just about the time of Francis Xavier's de- 
parture for the Indies from Lisbon. The only restriction placed 
upon the Society in this bull, a restriction afterwards removed 
in 1543, was that which limited the number of its professed 
members to sixty. 

In the course of the autumn, however, the floating notions 
as to the retention of the two Fathers in Portugal, already briefly 
mentioned, took the form of serious negotiations, set on foot 
between the Courts of Portugal and Rome, which at one time 
seemed to threaten to prevent the enterprise on which our 
Saint's heart was now set. The great good done by the two 
companions in the Court and country of Portugal suggested 
naturally enough the idea that they should be retained there, 
and that other less distinguished missionaries might be sent 
to the Indies. Few words of our Blessed Lord have been 
more constantly and uniformly fulfilled in the history of the 
Church than those in which He declared that the harvest was 
plenteous, but the labourers itw : and now that the King of 
Portugal had come to know the value of the two labourers 
whom he had obtained from Ignatius, it is not wonderful 
that he should have felt a scruple as to depriving himself, 
his capital, and the whole country over which he reigned, of 

84 Si, Frajicis Xavier. 

spiritual advantages so singularly great It was a time when 
no country in Christendom was well furnished with learned 
preachers, and even where the priesthood was in its best state 
it is probable that the number of priests who devoted them- 
selves unremittingly to the more active duties of their calling 
was comparatively small. We have seen that even in Rome, 
when the companions of Ignatius began to preach, it was an 
unheard-of thing for a sermon to be given out of the more 
sacred seasons of Advent and Lent. To all who had the good 
of the people at heart, such workers as Francis and Simon 
were very precious. The question was argued in the Royal 
Council, and although the Cardinal Don Henry advocated the 
cause of the Indies with much earnestness, he was overruled, 
and a proposal was sent to Rome that the King should be au- 
thorized to retain Francis and Simon Rodriguez for the benefit 
of his subjects at home. It was a delicate thing then for the 
Pope or for Ignatius to refuse. The King had conferred very 
singular benefits on the Society. The mere fact of his coming 
forward unsolicited, the first of all Catholic Princes, to ask 
for several members of the new Order — not as yet sanctioned 
by the Pope — must have had much weight at Rome, even 
with the Pope himself, in favour of the Society, and he had 
at the same time, both by his ambassador and by his own 
letters, pleaded its cause directly and urgently. At the mo- 
ment, he was the most powerful and valuable friend whom it 
possessed, and Ignatius was a man deeply and tenderly alive 
to the feeling of gratitude. He managed the affair, however, 
with his usual consummate prudence. The Pope gave it as 
his opinion that the two Fathers should be placed at the ab- 
solute disposal of the King, and letters to this effect were 
written from Rome. But Ignatius also sent a letter — it does 
not seem certain whether to Mascarenas, the former Ambas- 
sador, or to the Fathers themselves — saying that if the King 
wished to know his private opinion, he had thought of a middle 
course: that of sending Francis Xavier to the Indies, while 
Simon Rodriguez remained in Portugal, where he might be 
useful to the mission as well as to the kingdom itself by pro- 

Francis in Lisbon, 85 

viding a seminary from which future missionaries might pro- 
ceed to the East. This proposal was agreed to, and the de- 
cision was announced to Francis Xavier by the King himself. 

As the time for sailing drew on, in the spring of 1541, 
John III. showed himself full of interest in the Society, and 
desirous to provide in every possible way for the success of 
the Indian mission and for the comfort of Francis and his 
companions. These were now reduced to two — two out of 
all the number on whom Francis had reckoned, and who had 
in various ways, as we see from the letters, offered their aid. 
His disappointment was very great, and we may observe how 
he feeds himself in the remaining letters written during this 
period on the hope of a speedy and numerous reinforcement. 
During the whole of his after career, the two greatest sorrows 
which he had to contend with were the hindrances put in the 
way of the Gospel preaching by the bad and tyrannical con- 
duct of the Christian traders and officers, and, in the second 
place, the poor and sometimes very troublesome materials 
with which he had to work as his companions and subjects. 

But we need not anticipate the troubles of which we shall 
hear enough by and bye. Only one of Francis' companions 
was a Priest, Father Paul of Camerino : the second was the 
Portuguese, Francis Mancias by name, simple, ignorant, dull, 
not yet in any holy orders, and with literary acquirements 
so scanty as to make Francis fear very much that he would 
break down in any examination to which he might be sub- 
jected as a condition of ordination. It is perhaps this that 
made him willing to put off his ordination till they reached 
India, where it was probable that the standard of learning was 
not very high, and that the Bishop might not be very particu- 
lar. Such was the Httle band of missionaries destined to do so 
much among the poor Indians who had become the subjects 
of the Crown of Portugal. 

Francis himself was laden with iavours by the King. John 
III. had procured four Briefs from the Pope, two of which 
gave him the amplest possible spiritual faculties and jurisdic- 
tion, appointing him moreover the Apostolic Nuncio in the 

86 St, Francis Xavier, 

Indies. The other two Briefs recommended him to the espe- 
cial care and protection of all native Princes from the Cape 
of Good Hope eastwards, and especially to the Emperor of 
Ethiopia, of whose conversion to the Catholic faith some 
hopes were now entertained. The King also enjoined on 
Francis to write to him frequently and to give him an exact 
account of all that was done or required for the advancement 
of religion. Francis was to sail with the new Governor of the 
Indies, Don Martin Alfonso de Sousa, of whom he speaks in 
the highest terms in the letters which we shall presently trans- 
late. This officer had already distinguished himself greatly 
in the Indies, and the highest expectations were formed of the 
success of his new government. These expectations were not 
altogether fulfilled in the event, but Sousa was an upright, hon- 
ourable man, and a zealous pious Christian, and desirous of 
showing every honour in his power to the missionaries who were 
to accompany him. But it was not easy to overcome Francis 
Xavier where his humility and love of poverty and suffering 
were concerned. The King had commanded the Conde de 
' Castafieras, who held an office which we might call that of 
Purveyor-General for the Fleet, to provide Francis with every- 
thing that he desired for the voyage. The order was intimated 
to Francis, but the Conde waited in vain for a list of the arti- 
cles which he was to provide. Francis, when questioned, said 
that he professed religious poverty and would rely only on 
the Providence of God. He could only be induced to accept 
a few books of devotion and some warmer clothing for the 
storms of the Cape of Good Hope. The Purveyor insisted — 
'at least he would have a servant allotted to him? It would 
not become the dignity of an Apostolic Nuncio to cook his 
own food and wash his own linen?' Then it was that St. 
Francis gave his memorable answer, his face burning with in- 
dignation, that as long as God gave him the use of hands and 
feet no one should wait on him but himself — that there was 
no occupation so lowly as that he would not glory in it in the 
sight of the whole world, that he would never fear for his 
dignity unless it should befal him to incur the mark of sin, 

Francis in Lisbon, 87 

and that this over attention to human wisdom, which was so 
opposed to the wisdom of God, was exactly the evil which had 
reduced the Church to so lamentable a state. 

The two following letters^, written on the same day, about 
three weeks before his embarkation, give us a picture of the 
warmth of his affection for the friends he was never to see 
again, his love for the Society, and his sanguine hopes as to the 
success of the mission he was about to undertake. 

(viii.) To the Society at Rome. 

May the grace and love of Christ our Lord always help and 
favour us ! Amen. 

We have received your much longed for letter, and it has 
done our souls all that good which happy news of their mo- 
ther ought to produce in the souls of children. We learn 
from it the healthy and flourishing state of the whole Society, 
the pious and holy works to which you are given up at Rome, 
the edifices, spiritual and material, that you are founding 
and building, thus providing for future generations as well 
as for the present, that both may be well furnished with the 
means for labouring in the Lord's vineyardj^y and may be able 
to urge on and carry out to the end which we all desire that 
work which has now for some time been begun with so great 
a hope of giving extraordinary delight to our Lord God. I 
pray that our Lord may be pleased to help us also — so far 
absent from you in body though ever with you in heart, and 
never more so than now'^o — that we may imitate you, when He 
has shown to us also the way in which we are to serve Christ 
our Lord. 

Now as to what may be good for you to know of matters 
here. The King, who greatly approves our way of life and 
conduct, and who, from his experience of the spiritual fruits 
which have already come from our labours, is induced to hope 

29 subsidiis ad lahorandum in vined Domini. (Orig.) 

^^ absentes tanVum corpore, licet prcesentes animo tiunquam tnagis qudm 
nunc. (Orig.) 

88 St, Francis Xavier, 

for still greater advantage to souls if the number of our labour- 
ers be increased, has determined to found one College and one 
House of ours, that is of the Society of Jesus. Three of us 
are to remain here for these foundations. Master Simon, Mas- 
ter Gonsalez, and another priest well learned in canon law. 
Many others declare themselves day by day, and offer to enter 
the Society. This project of his Highness to build these two 
houses is no crude or passing idea, he is strongly bent upon 
it. For some time back, whenever we have been to him, he 
has, of his own accord, declared his intention, always being 
the first to introduce the matter, without any suggestion from 
us or from any friend, whom we might have asked. He has 
come into the plan of building these houses altogether of his 
own choice and judgment. The place where he intends to 
put them is the city of Evora. I believe he is writing to the 
Pope to send some one or more of the Society, to help Mas- 
ter Simon in the commencement. I must say that this good 
King, in his very great affection to our Society, the increase of 
which he desires as if he were one of ourselves,-^^ doing all 
this out of the simple motive of his love and veneration to 
our Lord God, does really put us in truth under a very strict 
obligation of professing and affording to him unceasing service 
for the sake of God.^^ Nothing less than this is due to the 
thorough beneficence and constant good will which he has 
shown us, a good will which has by no means confined itself 
within the limits of an intention which costs nothing, but which 
has made him, without being asked, and with the utmost 
liberality, sedulously take every opportunity of deserving prac- 
tically our greatest gratitude. And on this account, if we were 
not to acknowledge and publicly declare how much we owe 
to him, if we did not, by daily prayers and sacrifices, do what 
little lies in our poor power towards trying to repay the very 
great deserts of those who so signally distinguish themselves 
before God by helping and supporting us for His divine ser- 
vice, we should really contract a very serious fault, and should 
be ignominiously branded with the foul disgrace of extreme in- 
^^ tanquam unus ex nobis. (Orig.) ^' propter Deum. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon, 89 

gratitude. And we should be unworthy of hfe itself, if any day 
were to come down to the very end of our lives, however long 
tliey may be, which could reproach us with having forgotten to 
keep in mind with the most affectionate and grateful service 
the name of King John of Portugal, our most liberal Patron 
and Benefactor. 

Father Paul, another, who is a Portuguese, and myself, 
three in all, are to sail this week for India. We are full of 
great hopes, trusting in the merciful help of God our Lord 
that we shall there bring a large harvest into the garners of the 
Church. We think this from the wonderful things that we are 
told by good persons who have been eyewitnesses, having been 
many years in India, and who speak of the very favourable dis- 
positions of those nations to listen to preachers of good, and 
to embrace the salvation of their souls when it is offered to 

The King sends us away full and laden with favours of 
every kind from himself, and has also recommended us very 
particularly to the Governor whom he is sending this year to 
India. We are to sail with him in his own flagship. He has 
shown us much kindness, as far as to take upon himself the 
care of everything for our passage, and to forbid us or any one 
else to trouble himself about the preparations, or equipment 
necessary for us while we are at sea. He has already settled 
that we are to be his guests at table every day. This I men- 
tion, not so much to show off whatever honour or convenience 
for us this implies, as if we took pleasure in the advantage to 
ourselves, — which we would certainly rather go without, — but 
that you may understand, and in your zeal for God's glory may 
rejoice in, the good ground which we have in this great affec- 
tion for us on the part of the supreme Governor of the Indies, 
for hoping for great assistance from him towards that on which 
our whole heart is set, the conversion of the heathen there, 
and may congratulate us on the favourable opportunity opened 
to us, of carrying the name of Jesus Christ before the native 
Kings of India, with whom, as every one knows, the authority 
and influence of the Portuguese Governor is supreme. 

go St. Francis Xavier, 

Our confidence is also strengthened by what we gather, 
partly from our own observation, partly from what we have 
been able up to this time to learn from others, of the senti- 
ments, conduct, qualities, and aims of the Governor himself. 
In the first place he has great experience and familiarity with 
Indian affairs, and has spent many years in these countries 
with the highest reputation for integrity. You know how sharp 
and keen is the judgment of a Court as to the lives of men, 
and the Court here is agreed that he is a man of the highest 
virtue. According to good authorities, he is believed to be 
very much wished for in India, both by our own people and 
the natives. I had a friendly talk with him the day before 
yesterday, and he told me that there is an island in India 
peopled solely by heathen, without any mixture of Mahometans 
or Jews, and he added that he hoped there for great and speedy 
fruit from the preaching of the Gospel, and indeed, when he 
recollected what he had observed when there as to the direc- 
tion in which men's minds were turned, and the strength of 
these tendencies, he had no doubt that the King of the country 
himself, and, after a little, the whole island with him, would 
openly embrace the religion of Jesus Christ. 

The ground on which experienced persons of this sort 
think they may argue well of our success is, that they have 
thoroughly seen and approved the manner of our Institute and 
ministrations of which they have had satisfactory specimens 
here ; and although we on our part are intimately conscious ot 
our own slender stock of virtue and our great weakness, never- 
theless we think that all these good wishes and auguries will 
not come to nothing, for we are animated by the belief that God 
is now going to take pity on the miserable blindness of all 
these nations who live destitute of all helps to salvation, and 
that it seems as if He would therefore make merciful use of 
the service which we, however weak and worthless servants 
we be, are most ready to render, that those nations who now 
know not God and worship devils instead of Him'^"' may be 
recalled from the error and deplorable . misery in which they 
33 gentes qucB Deiini ignorant et dcsmonia colunt. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon. 91 

now lie. And, to lay our most secret thoughts bare to you, it 
is only on this foundation of the hope we have of presumably 
very powerful and efficacious assistance which may probably 
be expected from God that our whole confidence in under- 
taking so great a work rests and is supported, and it is this 
that gives us courage and alacrity, this that feeds our hopes of 
a happy issue to our exertions, which we mean to strain to the 
utmost to give help to those most unhappy of men, to draw 
them to a true knowledge of our holy faith and religion, with 
no motive for our labours but to show love and do service to 
God our Lord, \Vliom we hold it for most certain that we shall 
please and serve in this work which we undertake. 

And now we beseech of you in the strongest possible man- 
ner, to prepare for us in good time and at full leisure long and 
very particular instructions, which may be forwarded to us by 
the ships sailing from Lisbon for India in the March of next 
year. We desire and most humbly beg of you that they may 
contain directions written at full length by you and descending 
to all particulars, explaining minutely, what we are to do there, 
how we are to do it, with what precautions, and what rule of 
life and method of working we are to follow among the heathen. 
For although we are not without confidence that experience 
upon the spot will instruct and direct us to some extent in all 
this, still the chief hope we have of discerning what in the 
whole management of this matter is most pleasing to God, 
rests upon your suggestions and advice. We are persuaded 
that our Lord will inspire and guide you as to what He re- 
quires us to do, and to what extent, and that He will deign 
to declare to us His mind and the good pleasure of His Heart, 
as to the kind and manner of our life and ministry, by means 
of you whom He has hitherto made the interpreters of His 
will to us. And what moves me^* again and again, and with 
all the urgency that you see, to beg this of you, is the fear that 
I have lest that should happen to us which so frequently hap- 
pens to many in such positions to their very great hurt. I 
mean that, either by some negligence in considering and ex- 
34 The change of number to the singular is in the original. 

9 2 St. Francis Xavier. 

amining all the circumstances of place, business, or of duties in 
which they find themselves, or again, from some pride which 
makes them trust themselves too much, and so not condescend 
to consult others in doubtful matters, and to follow the coun- 
sels of men wiser than themselves, they displease God, and 
are deservedly punished by being deprived by Him of many 
graces and much profitable knowledge, which He would mer- 
cifully have given them had they humbled their own minds 
and judgments, so far as to confess their own ignorance and 
weakness by asking the help and assistance of others, more 
especially of those by whose means God is wont to let us 
know in what and how He desires to be served by us. We 
beg of you therefore, dear Fathers, and implore you again and 
again in our Lord, by that tender and intimate union in Christ 
Jesus which binds us together,''^ do not think it too much 
trouble to write out for us diligently and at length, advice, 
orders, instructions which may teach us minutely and in parti- 
cular, what is to be avoided, what followed, what to be guarded 
against, and what embraced, by men who wish what we wish 
with all our hearts, that is, in our whole life, and above all in 
the ofiice of promoting the salvation of souls, to conform our- 
selves exactly to the will of God, which we are confident will 
be made known to us more by your hints and precepts than by 
anything else. And we trust also that your prayers will help 
us, weak as we are, to carry into execution whatever you shall 
so prescribe to us. And these prayers we beg you may be 
made for us in a very special way, besides the usual remem- 
brance which we all make of one another.^^ And surely there 
is reason enough for this in our necessities, so far greater than 
usual, in the extraordinary dangers of our long voyage, and in 
what is to come after that, the continual intercourse we are to 
have with the heathen Indians, a race of men lost in vices of 
all sorts, the contagion of which may well hurt men so tepid 
and ignorant as we are ; and that it may not do so we must 

35 oramus er^o vos, Paires, et obsecramus iterum atque iteruni i?i Dotmno, 
per illa^n nostrajn hi Christo Jesu conjunctlssimam amlciiiavi. (Orig.) 
33 ultra consuctam manorlam. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon. 93 

strive and fight hard with all the most abundant grace and 
most efficacious helps from God which we can gain. 

We shall write to you at full length from India by the 
first ships that sail after our arrival. Our letters will be on 
the same subject and in. the same sense with those which we 
are to send to the King, in obedience to his Highness' com- 
mands. For when he bade us farewell for the last time before 
our departure, this good Prince most earnestly and strongly 
enjoined us, in the name of God our Lord and for His love, 
to inform him fully and exactly what appearance there may 
be in India of a disposition to the conversion of those miser- 
able souls. He declared that he was burnt up and tormented 
with continual internal anguish at their unhappy lot, that his 
wish was, and that for the hope of this there -was no price 
that he would not pay, to prevent the continuance of those 
offences against the Creator and Lord of all men on the part 
of His creatures, made after His own image and redeemed 
at such a cost, which have hitherto prevailed there. So ardent 
is the zeal for the glory of Christ our Lord and for the salva- 
tion of his neighbours which burns in the heart of this excellent 
King. For my part I feel incited to render endless praise and 
thanks to God for letting me see a King of immense power 
full of so much piety as to religious matters, and I must say 
with all truth, that unless I had had the evidence of my own 
senses to convince me, I could hardly have persuaded my- 
self to believe that any secular person, especially one who as 
a Prince is at the very summit of worldly greatness, and amidst 
all the tumult of a great Court, could have a heart capable of 
such exquisite devotion and charity. I pray God that it may 
please Him to increase in the King these great gifts and mul- 
tiply the days of his life into many long years — since he spends 
them in so holy a manner, and is so useful and so necessary 
unto his people.37 

Thus much as to the King : now about the Court. No- 

37 tarn utilis et f?eccssarius est populo sua. (Orig. ) Francis probably alludes 
to the traditional anecdote of the saying of St. Martin, ' DotJiine, si populo tuo 
adlmc sum necessarius, non recuso laboremj* 

94 St. Francis Xavier. 

thing can be more thoroughly well ordered — it is more like 
a religious community than a secular Court. There are so 
many who approach the holy sacraments of penance and com- 
munion weekly, that we unceasingly give great praise and 
thanks to God when we see and wonder at them. We have so 
many confessions to hear, that if there were twice as many 
of us, there would be plenty of work for all. We sit in the 
confessional whole days and part of the nights, and yet none 
but the people of the Court are allowed to come to us, all 
others are excluded. I recollect observing when the King 
was staying at Almerim how the people who came to the 
Court on business used to be surprised at what was to them 
a new custom, especially in followers of the Court, and how 
astonished they were to see so many of them going to com- 
munion every Sunday and on the Feast Days besides. A 
good many too of them imitated what they wondered at, 
purified their own souls by penance, and began to frequent 
holy communion. If there were here confessors enough to 
hear the whole crowd of people that usually come to the Court 
when it is in its progress, there would be hardly any one who 
comes to do business with his Highness who would not first 
settle his affairs with God. As it is, many who want to confess 
find no one to hear them, though, as I said, we do not spare 
ourselves, so little indeed, that we have been so constantly 
in the confessional that we have had no time for preaching. 
After due consideration we concluded that it was more for the 
service of God our Lord to give ourselves up to hearing con- 
fessions than to preach, because there is no lack of preachers 
in this Court, but considerable scarcity of practised confessors. 
So we have left the pulpit for the confessional. 

And now we have nothing more to tell you, save that now 
that we are on the point of starting for India, we pray to our 
Lord God that in a better life He will vouchsafe to bring us 
together again with you from whom we are now separating 
ourselves for the sake of Him. In this life we can hardly 
hope to meet again, both on account of the immense distances 
of sea and land which divide Rome and India, as also because 

Francis in Lisbon. 95 

the abundant harvest which awaits us in those countries will 
probably shut us out from all thought or power of looking to 
other fields or spheres of labour, as offering to us opportuni- 
ties of working with more fruit for the garners of the Lord of 
all, to whose service we have devoted ourselves. Whoever, 
therefore, of us may be the first to arrive at that Blessed Life, 
and there not to find the brother whom he loves in the Lord,^^ 
let him remember to make his prayer to Christ our King that 
He bring thither his brother also and make us all once more 
companions in His glory. 

To all of you dear ones in our Lord at Rome, 

Francis Xavier. 

Lisbon, March i8th, 1541. 

Francis wrote on the same day another letter to two of his 
first companions. Father Laynez and Father Le Jay, who at 
the time at which he wrote were labouring, the one at Parma, 
the other at Brescia, but were soon to be called to Rome for 
the election of the first General in the person of St. Ignatius.' 
We have only a fragment left to us of this letter : 

(ix.) To the Fathers Le Jay and Laynez, 

With regard to the King and the alms that he intends for 
the building of the house,39 I am writing to Peter Codacio 
what he ought to do at Rome. It seemed to me that just 
now, during this spring quarter that is beginning, the matter 
might present itself rather unseasonably, as it would be in the 
midst of the preparations which are making for a war which is 
said to be on the point of breaking out from the neighbouring 
coast of Africa. News comes frequently, and always to the 
same purport, that all the tribes of the Moors are in league, 

38 no7t invefterit fratrem quern in Domino diligit. (Orig.) The allusion is 
to St. Paul, 2 Cor. ii. 13. 

39 The Society had already taken possession of the church of Sta. Maria della 
Strada, which stood where the present church and house of the Gesu stand. 
It was Codacio who had got the church made over to the Society. The house 
for which alms were to have been sought from the King of Portugal was pro- 
bably the house for the Fathers adjoining the church. 

g6 St. Francis Xavier. 

and threaten a formidable invasion of the Portuguese domi- 

When times are more quiet, it would help much for our 
business to gain at Rome the good offices of the Cardinals 
who stand best with the King, if they would be so very kind 
as to inform him accurately by letter how very profitably his 
Highness would spend his money on such a foundation. I. think 
Cardinal Carpi is one of these Cardinals : I fancy this, be- 
cause I know he is very intimate with Don Pedro (Mas- 
carenas), and thus letters of recommendation coming from 
him, as well as from the Cardinal of the Quattro Coronaii and 
others, whom you may know to be on good terms with his 
Highness, would be extremely useful to us. And if for any 
reason these Cardinals were to decline to write direct to the 
King, still I suppose they might, with no great difficulty, be 
induced, especially Cardinal Carpi, to write privately to Don 
Pedro to beg him to speak to the King and undertake the 
promotion of so excellent a work with his Highness. Besides, 
if the King's ambassador at Rome is well disposed towards 
the Society, it would be of the greatest service to obtain let- 
ters from him to the same effect, explaining to the King how 
much our interests at Rome are in need of the favour of his 

Do not forget to write yourselves to Don Pedro de Mas- 
carenas. I can't find words to tell you the pleasure he takes 
in your letters. Be quite sure that he loves you very much 
in the Lord;^^ he keeps with the greatest care the letters which 
he has from you, he rea-ds every word in them over and over 
again with a pleasure and spiritual fruit which make his face 
shine with joy. Indeed, when I see by these clear proofs 
how devoted he is to you, I feel as if I ought to devote all my 
life to his service. We have been thinking here, saving better 
jud^ment,^! that it would be well for you to write to the King 
to thank him for the desire he has shown of founding here 
a house or college for the Society. Good offices and observ- 
ances of this sort are a frequent, established, and required 

^ multum in Domino. (Orig.) ^"^ salvo meliorijudicio. (Orig.) 

Francis in Lisbon, 97 

custom in the Court here, and I am certain, from what Don 
Pedro told me, that such a letter would please the King much. 
You should mention in it that you have been informed by us 
of the generous intentions expressed by his Highness of erect- 
ing a college or a house of our Society. This would be, as 
the proverb goes, to spur the wiUing steed, and would urge 
him all the more strongly to cut short all delay in the matter. 
Another thing I know, and I may as well tell it you, — you may 
be certain that the letters you write in the way I have sug- 
gested will pass through many hands and be read by many 

Now let me tell you of Francesco Mancias. He is not 
yet in any sacred orders at all. There is a Bishop in India 
who, we trust in the Lord, will make no difficulty as to or- 
daining the good man, though it is certain he has a larger 
store of zeal, virtue, and simplicity, than of any extraordinary 
learning. Unless Master Paul can communicate to him some 
part of his own great knowledge, I am terribly afraid that 
without special aid from God he will hardly be found up to 
the mark in the examination which ought according to rule 
to precede the conferring of holy orders. If this were to hap- 
pen it would upset our plans altogether. At all events, in the 
prospect of any such event, he would desire that you would 
get him letters from Rome excusing him from any very ela- 
borate preparation for holy orders, and which might autho- 
rize him to receive extra iempora the three sacred orders, on 
three successive Feast days, on the title, as it were, of * volun- 
tary poverty and (very) sufficient' simplicity. ^2 jn order to 
obtain this favour, it may with truth be pleaded that in his 
case the deficiency of learning is supplied by much goodness 
and holy simplicity. In fact, if he had been as intimate with 
Bobadilla as he was with Cacerez,'*^ ^g would, as so often hap- 

42 ad titulum voluntaricepaJipertatis et stifficientisshnmsimplicitatis. (Orig.) 
This is a play upon the formula used in ordinations, when the candidates are 
declared to be ordained, some ' titulo religionis,' others ' titulo beneficii/ and 
others ' sui sufficientis patrimonii.' 

43 This chance mention of Cacerez has hardly perhaps been noticed by the 
writers of the life of St. Ignatius. At the head of the list of signatures to the 

VOL. I. H 

98 St. Francis Xavier. 

pens, have got from the friction of daily familiar intercourse, 
something rather more like the erudition of the former than 
the ignorance of the latter, and we should not be in our pre- 
sent difficulty ; in that case, we should certainly have had him 
moving at full sail over the vast ocean of the sacred Scriptures, 
and learning would burst from his lips spontaneously. More- 
over, both Mancias and Don Paul would like to obtain from 
his Holiness the favour that every time they say mass, it may 
be as if at a 'privileged altar.' 

The number of masses that we have already celebrated for 
Cardinal Guidiccioni amount to two hundred and fifty, from 
the time of our leaving Rome up to the present day. May 
God our Lord grant us grace to offer the rest in India ! In- 
deed, when I think within myself what fruit and what spiritual 
joy I have always up to this time felt in offering sacrifice for 
this very reverend Prince of the Church, I feel drawn to re- 
commend him to God our Lord in every mass that I shall say 
during the rest of my life. 

[It appears that the news of the approval of the Institute, 
so long delayed by the opposition of Cardinal Guidiccioni, had 
now reached Portugal, and this accounts for the joyous burst 
of gratitude which the last quoted sentences of the letter con- 
tain. Francis had at least the consolation not to sail for the 
East before the good tidings reached him. His mind at once 
turns, as we see in the next paragraph, to those souls of whom 
he has already more than once spoken, who had thought of 

paper drawn up in 1539, by Ignatius and his companions, about adding the vow 
of obedience to the other two vows, and, in fact, entering the Society as a religi- 
ous body under a Superior, as soon as it was approved of by the Pope, appears 
the name of Cacres. It has always been a puzzle to the historians, as no such 
Father is elsewhere mentioned, and all the other signatures are those of the well- 
known ' Companions.' Two letters of St. Ignatius, written in 1536 to a nun in 
Spain, mention a Carceres or Cazeres as a friend of them both who has Taeen 
giving her some instructions in spiritual matters. Cacerez may well have been 
one of those who dropped off after intending to join the Society. We gather 
from the present letter, which draws a playful picture both of Mancias and 
Bobadilla, that Cacerez was no great loss to the Society in point of learning. 
Where Mancias had fallen in with him, must be left to conjecture. 

Francis in Lisbon, 99 

joining the Society, but could not muster up courage for the 
final step.] 

We want much to know whether, now that our rule is con- 
firmed, those persons to whom we used to say we were so largely 
in debt in the matter of mutual love on account of the very 
great and kind interest they voluntarily showed us in this busi- 
ness of ours, promoting it in every way and by every effort, 
whether these persons, I say, have either yet entered the So- 
ciety or are on the point of doing so. I suspect there are 
some among them who would be glad to find peace to their 
souls, without undertaking this humble and painful life of ours. 
Whether they will find that peace I know not. It may well 
be that what they seek where they wish to find it, they will 
only find at last where they are afraid to seek it, if they ever 
manage to make up their minds to go there. I say this not 
only as to Francesco Zapata — I mean to include the worthy 
Licentiate, who, I imagine, won't know much of the quiet of 
a mind at rest while he haunts, as he does, the palaces of the 
great. As for the Doctor of Medicine, Ignatius Lopez, it 
seems to me that he will bring discredit on his own reputation 
and have to give up his profession altogether, if he withdraws 
without having perfectly cured the weak stomach of Father 
Ignatius and the deranged humours of Bobadilla. As to Diego 
Zappata and others like him,^* I have nothing to say, except 
that it is very probable the world will find them useless, and 
so get rid of them, doomed to labour hard enough for the rest 
of their lives in a difficult search after any one who will care 
to have them. 

I do not know how it is, but, since the King has settled 
that some of us are to remain here and others to go, I can't 
drive out of my mind an image that is continually presenting 
itself unbidden, the image of our dear brother Antonio Araoz, 
whom my prophetic mind sets before me as coming out by 
and bye to us in India, accompanied by six clerics at the least 

44 et ei sitnilibus. (Orig.) The spelling of the name Zappata is difFerent 
in the two places in this page. 

loo St. Francis Xavier. 

and a fitting following of others ; and if the men he brings us 
are not all prodigies of science, yet if they are well disposed 
to spend what remains of their life in the service of God our 
Lord, and are besides free from all appearance of avarice, 
we hope that their coming will be of the greatest use to us. 
And even if you should not send us any of this sort this year 
(that is to say, in the March of the year after this), but only 
two years hence, when you will have been able to receive 
letters from us in India, it would be no great inconvenience, 
so long as at the last date I have named we might have with- 
out fail the reinforcement of a certain number of good labourers 
sent out by you to us. We leave the whole of this affair to 
your wisdom : but we are most anxious that when you deli- 
berate upon the point, you should seriously consider what P^ 
assure you of most positively, that I am entirely convinced 
that the fruit of our labours in India will be by no means 
slight. Pray don't think that this is the mere guess of a mind 
that flatters itself. It is the constant assurance given us by 
men who have been there for many years that obliges us to 
hope it. How we find things on the spot you will learn from 
our letters, in which we mean diligently and fully to set forth 
from knowledge gained by our own eyes what is the true state 
and disposition of the country and its inhabitants, as far as 
concerns the affair of the salvation of souls, and the hopes and 
means of extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We expect, 
as I said just now, that the singular favour of the Governor, 
which he manifests by doing every possible kind of service 
to us, will be of the very greatest and most universal help to 
insure the success of all the efforts we shall make of this kind, 
on account of the extremely high influence which he may well 
be expected to have with the kings and rulers of the countries 
who are allies of the King of Portugal, both on account of his 
own virtues, which are so well known of old in those parts, 
as well as on account of the new dignity with which he is now 
invested as the holder of the highest oflice in the government 
and as the representative of his Highness. 

*' The change of number is in the original. 

Francis in Lisbon. loi 

If you think that any of the spiritual favours which can be 
got from the Pope would be useful to us by increasing the 
efficacy of our work out there, do as your charity and wisdom 
may suggest. One favour in particular we should like to ob- 
tain, and to have it sent to us in a regularly sealed diploma, 
as soon as may be, that is, the faculty granting by the authority 
of the Pope to ours in India, that they may receive sacred 
orders extra teinpora^ without patrimony or benefice, under the 
title of voluntary poverty which they have promised to God ; 
with exemption when necessary from the canonical impedi- 
ment resulting from illegitimate birth. Last of all, we implore 
you, when you write to us in India, not to do so by any means 
perfunctorily or shortly. We most earnestly wish you to tell 
us in particular about all and each of ours ; what they are 
(doing, how they are, what plans they have, what hopes of them- 
selves, what fruit they produce. This ought not to seem a 
very severe task for you to undertake, since you will have no 
opportunity of writing to us except once and no more in each 
year. Do please manage to make your letters from Europe 
furnish us with abundant reading for a full week. We promise 
solemnly that we will do as much for you. Farewell. 
In the name of all your dearest brothers here, 
Lisbon, March i8th, 1541. FranCIS XaVIER. 

The bright and cheerful tone of this familiar letter to his 
old companions makes us wish that we had more such relics 
of the heart and hand of St. Francis. At the time at which 
this was written, the first Fathers of the Society were meeting 
in Rome for the purpose of electing their first Genera.1. When 
more than a fortnight later St. Francis set sail from Lisbon 
(on his thirty-fifth birthday, April 7 ; the Thursday in Passion 
Week), the election was actually proceeding, and his vote for 
St. Ignatius was counting with the rest.^^ Three others of 

46 Most of the suffrages are dated April 4, that of Ignatius himself April 5. 
Three days of prayer preceded the voting, and after the votes had been sealed 
up, three days more of prayer followed before they vi^ere opened. St. Ignatius, 
after much resistance on his own part, entered on his duties as General on the 
Easter Tuesday, April 19. 

IC2 St, Francis Xavier. 

the original ' companions' were absent besides himself, Peter 
Favre, who was in Germany, Bobadilla, who was detained at 
Bisignano in the kingdom of Naples, and Simon Rodriguez, 
who accompanied him on board the Governor's ship, the St 
James, to give and receive a last loving embrace. They were 
to meet no more in this world, and Francis was never to re- 
turn to Europe. It was then that Francis revealed to Simon 
the secret of the words, * Yet more, Lord, yet more,' which 
Simon had heard him utter in his dream in the sickroom at 
Rome, as well as another secret. Simon was again being nursed 
by him at night, and Francis had fallen asleep from fatigue at 
the foot of his patient's bed. Suddenly he had been seen to 
struggle violently in his sleep, and at last a quantity of blood 
burst from his mouth. Simon could never get him to tell him 
what had then passed, but now, in the openness of a soul that 
was wishing a dear friend goodbye, Francis avowed to him 
that by the grace of God he had never been stained by any, 
even the slightest, impurity, and that at that time an evil dream 
had tormented him, and his struggles in resisting it had been 
so violent that a small bloodvessel had been burst. It was 
solemnly attested after his death that this spotless purity of 
his had never been tarnished in the faintest degree. All the 
rest of his life was to be the fulfilment of the other vision. 
His brave, ardent, and most tender heart, which had then 
been endowed with so keen a thirst for more and more suf- 
fering, labours, and sorrows for the sake of the advancement 
of God's glory, was now to begin its career of sacrifice by a 
lifelong separation from the * brethren whom he loved in the 


(i.) Suffrage of St. Francis Xavier in the election of a Getter al 
for the Society of Jesus. 

The paper spoken of in p. 59 as having been left by St. Francis 
Xavier in Rome to be used when the occasion came for the elec- 
tion of a Superior for the Society, after its approval by the Holy 
Father, is considered by F. Menchacha to be rather a letter than 
a formal suffrage. The original, which was all in St. Francis' 
own handwriting, was inscribed on the outside, 'Esta es la Carta 
de Francisco para los de la Companid! (This is the letter of Francis 
for those of the Company), The proper word for ' paper' would 
have been 'papel' (Menchacha, Epistolce S. Fr. Xaverii, t. ii. p. 
501). The letter is printed by the Bollandists in the Life of St. 
Ignatius {Acta Sanctorum Julii, t. vii. in Comm. prsevia de S. Ig- 
natio Loyola, § 35, num. 360 seq.). It runs as follows : 

1. I Francis say that, when his Holiness grants us our mode 
of life, I assent to all that the Society shall ordain concerning 
all our Constitutions, Rules, and manner of living, those Fathers 
being assembled at Rome who can be conveniently called together 
and assembled. And since his Holiness is sending many of us 
to different parts out of Italy, and all cannot come together, I 
declare by this letter and I promise that I will consider fair and 
good whatever those may ordain who are able to be present at the 
meeting, whether they are two or three, or whoever they may be. 
And so I declare by this present signed by my hand, and I pro- 
mise that I will hold as binding all that they may do. Written 
at Rome in the year 1540, March 15. Francis. 

2. IHS. I Francis also declare and affirm that, in no man- 
ner persuaded by man, I judge that he who is to be elected as 
the Superior of our Society, to whom we are all to owe obedi- 
ence, — as what seems to me just and speaking according to 
what my conscience dictates, — that our Superior should be our 
old and true Father Don Ignatius, who brought us all together 

104^ St. Francis Xavier. 

with so much labour. He, — not without labour also, — will know 
best how to keep us as we are, to govern us, and to make us 
advance from good to better, for he thoroughly knows every one 
of us. And after his death, speaking according to what my soul 
feels right, as if I were now at the point of death, I declare that 
Father Master Peter Favre should be chosen. And in this re- 
spect God is my witness that I say exactly what I think. In witness 
of which I subscribe this with my own hand. Done at Rome in 
the year 1540, March 15. Franxis. 

3. In likd manner, after the Society shall have been assembled 
and shall have chosen a Superior, I Francis promise, now for then, 
perpetual obedience, poverty, and chastity. And so, my dearest 
Father in Christ, Laynez, I beseech you for the service of our Lord 
God, in my absence to offer for me this my will with the three 
vows of Religion to the Superior, whom you and the rest shall 
have chosen. And from now, as from the day on which he shall 
be elected, I promise to observe them. In witness of which I have 
prepared this declaration signed with my own hand. Written at 
Rome in the year 1540, March 15. Francis. 

(2.) Letter of St. Ignatius to his Nephew, recommending to him St. 
Francis Xavier and the Ambassador of the King of Portugal. 

The following letter, which we quote from Menchacha, Epis- 
toIcB S. Ignatii (I. i, ep. xii.), shows, among other things, the great 
hurry in which our Saint left Rome for Portugal. 

To Beitran, Lord of Loyola, 


May our Lord ever help and favour us ! Amen. 

I am altogether prevented from writing to you at any length, 
as I would wish to do, by the great and extreme haste with which 
we are pressed at a moment's notice to send some of our Society 
to the Indies, some to Ireland, and others to different parts of 
Italy. The bearer of this is Master Francis Xavier, of Navarre, 
son of the Lord of Xavier, one of our Society. He is going [to 
India] by command of the Holy Father and at the request of the 
King of Portugal, as well as two others who are on their way to 
the King by sea. From the same Master Francis you will learn 
everything, and he will speak to you on any subject in my name, 
as if I myself were present. You should know that the ambas- 

Notes to Book L 105 

sador of the King of Portugal, whom Master Francis accompanies, 
is allied to us by the bonds of the closest friendship, and that we 
owe him very much indeed, and that he hopes to be a great 
protector to us in matters which relate to the service of God 
with his King and with all others with whom he has influence. 
I beg you therefore, for the service of our Lord God, to receive 
him when he comes to your parts with the greatest honour and 
as splendidly as you can. If Araoz is with you, let him consider 
this letter as written to him. You may beheve and rely on Master 
Francis in my name as much as on myself. I pray you commend 
me much to your lady wife, and to all your family. May our 
Lord ever help and favour you ! 

Your poor one in goodness, 

Rome, March i6, 1540. 

The third member of the Society who is here mentioned as 
having sailed with Simon Rodriguez for Portugal is evidently 
Father Paul of Camerino, who ultimately left for India along with 
Francis Xavier and Francis Mancias. It has been thought that 
the letter implies that St. Ignatius had not yet abandoned the 
idea of sending Bobadilla ; but he could not be one of two who 
are mentioned as being already on their way by sea to Lisbon. 

Antonio Araoz was a near relation of St. Ignatius, who had 
joined the Society the year before this letter was written, and was 
now in Spain. He afterwards became very celebrated among the 
earlier Fathers of the Society, was a great preacher, and filled 
many important offices. At this time he was not yet a Priest. 

(3.) Don Pedro Mascarenas. 

The Ambassador Mascareiias was one of the most distin- 
guished servants of the Portuguese Crown. He had served in 
Africa with distinction, and had been a splendid ambassador at 
Brussels and at Rome. He was afterwards appointed tutor for a 
time to the Infante Don Juan, and ended his days, curiously 
enough, in India, where he was sent two years after the death of 
St. Francis, being himself seventy years of age, as Viceroy, much 
against his own will and the earnest entreaties to the King of 
his wife. The Portuguese annalist of India speaks of him in the 
highest terms of praise. ' It was believed that if he had continued 
in that government some years, he would have reestablished truth, 
justice, and honesty in India. — Don Pedro Mascareiias had such 

io6 St. Francis Xavier, 

an awful presence and majestic deportment, that nobody before 
him durst do or say anything indecent.* One of the acts of his 
government in India was to send a Father and Brother of the 
Society to the Emperor of Ethiopia — 'Prester John' — to induce 
him to become Catholic — ' para persuadir al Preste Juan a que 
dexasse los ritos antiguos de la Christiandad profanada, que si- 
guia.' See Faria y Sousa, Asia Portuguesa, t. ii. p. 2, cap. xi. 




Voyage to India^ and first labours at Goa. 

The missionary of our own time usually embarks for India or 
China at Southampton or Marseilles in a large, swift, and well- 
appointed steamer, and finds himself, after a short experience 
of the Bay of Biscay or of the Mediterranean, at Gibraltar or at 
Malta, and then after another short interval at Alexandria, 
whence he mounts the Nile to Cairo and reaches Suez by a few 
hours of railway travelling, to find another steamer waiting for 
him which carries him to India in the space of not more than a 
few weeks. He has little in common, as far as the dangers and 
sufi"erings of the voyage are concerned, with St. Francis Xavier 
and his two companions on their long and weary sail to the 
Indian coast from Lisbon. Although the ships which in the 
sixteenth century were used for distant navigation were huge 
in size as compared with the ordinary vessels of the time, they 
were slow, unsafe, and of small accommodation when contrasted 
with passenger steamers or clippers of our own century, and, as 
they carried large freight in the way of merchandize and were 
also transports for soldiers, they were usually extremely crowded, 
with little space to spare, and the long time spent on board 
must always have been a period of suffering and confinement 
to all.^ The voyage from Lisbon to Goa generally lasted about 
six months, and was considered in itself as an enterprise of no 
common danger. We are told that the seas about the Cape 
were particularly dreaded, and that passengers ordinarily pro- 
vided themselves with a windingsheet, that their bodies might 
be committed to the waves, in case of their death, with some 

1 Bartoli, in the first book of his Asia (p. 26-31, first ed. Rome, 1653), gives 
a long description of the ships used for these voyages, of the great dangers of 
the navigation, and of the virtues required in missionaries for India. 

no St. Francis Xavier. 

appearance of Christian decency. Before the storms at the 
Cape, there were the terrible calms off the Guinea coast, and 
the scurvy, the peculiar scourge of long and confined sea pass- 
ages, not to speak of the very possible accidents of shipwreck 
and the like, as well as some which we should consider ima- 
ginary, such as the poisonous showers which were said to fall 
under the torrid zone, and the huge sea monsters which roamed 
the Indian Ocean, and could easily send a vessel to the bottom 
with a single stroke of their tails. The ships, which were dis- 
patched only once a year, were crowded with inmates, and 
sailed in company. They carried a wild and motley multitude 
— merchants, soldiers, adventurers of every sort, as well as Go- 
vernment officials and an occasional missionary, and we are not 
surprised to learn that the confinement, hardships, and priva- 
tions of the seafaring life, the enforced idleness, the bad food, 
the close lodging, the fierce climate to be passed through, as 
well as the excitement of anticipated adventures, the hopes of 
riches or advancement, and the recklessness produced in wild 
natures by the near neighbourhood of danger from the sea or 
from some sudden disaster, not to speak of warfare, worked 
rather upon the bad elements in that strange society than on 
the good, and made it more irreligious than ever instead of 
more pious. The restraints of ordinary life were thrown off, and 
the license which was the condition of existence in India was 
too often anticipated on the voyage. 

The company in which Francis Xavier and his two asso- 
ciates sailed was to some extent exceptional. The Governor- 
was a thoroughly religious man, and the same may very likely 
have been the case with many of the officers ; but we cannot 
expect the crew, the soldiers, and the adventurers, as a rule, to 
have been above the average. Francis was entirely in a new 
sphere. Hitherto he had lived either with students like himself, 
before he joined Ignatius, or with his own religious brethren. 
Even in the Court of Portugal he could have seen but little of 

2 Don Martin Alfonso Sousa is usually called Viceroy in the Lives of St. 
Francis, but he was one of the Governors of India who had not the additional 
title of Viceroy. 

Voyage to India. 1 1 1 

the rough selfish greed and brutal vice which so often charac- 
terize the class of men who seek their fortunes in a new world 
after having failed at home, and if he had known the lower 
strata of humanity as an active preacher and confessor in Italy, 
and in the prisons and hospitals which he had always made it 
his business to frequent, at least he had never been brought 
into that close contact with rude boisterous license of every 
kind which was inevitable to him now that he was cooped up 
for a six months' voyage within the planks of a galleon with 
nine hundred or more of his fellowbeings, whose reasons for 
the long and dangerous voyage which made them his com- 
panions were so very different from those by which he was 
moved. He was of a refined, delicate, even haughty, nature, 
and we see in his earlier letters some traces of what might be 
thought to have been severity of judgment as to even the or- 
dinary secular life, if it were not so evidently the fruit of his 
own intense conviction of the reality of the maxims of faith, — 
perhaps also of the recollection of the struggle which it had 
once cost him to surrender himself to their guidance. We 
might have expected many men of the same character with St. 
Francis to shut themselves up in their cabin during the voyage, 
and hold as little intercourse as possible with the strange, wild, 
coarse, and violent world around them. 

It was, however, on this voyage that Francis first began the 
practice of what has been called * Apostolical conversation,' 
which he afterwards never intermitted for the rest of his life 
wherever he had occasion for it. It had been, as we have said, 
the great weapon of Ignatius : it had been the means by which 
Francis himself had been won to the pursuit of the greater glory 
of God. It was practised with the most careful and prayerful 
study by Peter Favre, as we find from his own notes, and it 
now became one of the most successful instruments of the sal- 
vation and improvement of others in the hands of his dear 
friend and brother to whom the Indies had been committed as 
the field of his Apostolate. Many years later, a Portuguese 
gentleman happened to find himself in the same vessel with 
Francis. He had long been desirous of knowing him, on ac- 

,112 St. Francis Xavier, 

count of his great reputation for sanctity : on asking which he 
was, he was shown a person standing in a group of men round 
a table where a game of chess was going on. He was talking 
with the soldiers, the crew, the merchants' clerks, and others, 
of whom the crowd was made up, at his ease with all, and all 
at their ease with him. The gentleman was scandalized, and 
declared to a friend that the Padre Santo, as he was called, was 
just like any other priest. At the end of the voyage, however, 
he sent a servant to follow and see what became of him. 
Francis went aside into a wood and began to pray, and the 
servant soon ran to call his master to see the Saint in an ecstasy 
lifted from the ground in his prayers. ^ 

There was ample field for his zeal on board the ship in 
which he sailed — which carried, as we are told, very nearly a 
thousand persons. He mixed freely with all, especially with 
those who had most need of him — and it was soon found that 
he had won upon them so far that the habit of swearing was 
going out, and that many enmities had been made up. He 
began to hear confessions regularly and frequently. Under 
the Line the scurvy broke out so violently that it became a 
sort of plague : friends neglected friends, the sick were left to 
themselves, the medicine ran short, there was no one but 
Francis and his companions to tend the sufferers. Francis 
washed them and their linen, dressed their food, and fed them 
with his own hands. He had a little cabin of his own, but he 
gave it up to the sick. He had refused to take his meals at 
the Governor's table, but not to receive the daily portion of 
food which was sent him from it : this he divided among the 
sick. On Sundays he preached on deck, the Governor himself 
attending the sermon. 

Francis himself appears to have suffered greatly from sick- 
ness in the first part of the voyage, which was lengthened be- 
yond the usual time, probably by the calm which often detains 
vessels near the Equator. It was the custom of the Portuguese 

3 This anecdote will be found in Massei, 1. ii. c. 15, p. 471. The gentleman 
was a famous Captain, Don Diego di Norona, whose name often occurs in the 
Asia Portuguesa of Faria y Sousa. See t. ii. p. 2, ch. x. 

Voyage to India, 1 1 

navigators to sail at a distance round the Cape, so far south- 
wards as to reach a latitude where the cold was sensibly felt. 
The ship did not reach Mozambique till late in August, at a 
time when under ordinary circumstances it would have been 
approaching Goa; and the lateness of the season as well as 
the prevalence of sickness determined the Governor to win- 
ter in the island. The letter which we are about to insert 
gives some account of the island,'* and of the number of sick 
in the hospital where Francis took up his quarters. He makes 
no mention, however, of his own sufferings from a violent 
fever, which we learn from the testimony of others. He would 
not accept of the better lodging and care which were offered 
to him by many of the Portuguese inhabitants, and took his 
chance with the rest of the sick in the hospital. Indeed, the 
physician found him, in the height of his fever, visiting and 
instructing the others. On one occasion when he was ordered 
to bed, he is said to have answered humbly that he was anxi- 
ous about the case of one, who had not made his peace with 
God, and that as soon as he had attended him, he would take 
rest himself. It was a poor sailor whom fever had already 
made delirious, and of whose recovery little hope could be 
entertained. Francis had him conveyed from the ship to his 
own bed : the next day the man was sensible enough to make 
his confession; but he died at night, after having received the 
sacraments, full of confidence in God. Francis then consented 
to be nursed himself, and was soon able to resume his usual 
labours. Another anecdote of his stay at Mozambique has 
been preserved to us. While he was attending the sick in the 
hospital, news was brought him of the sudden death of a boy 
who had sailed in the Governor's ship with him. Xavier asked 
whether he had attended the Christian doctrine — as the teach- 
ing 01 the Catechism is called amang Catholics. He was filled 
with griei and selfreproach when he was told that the boy had 
apparently never had any instruction, and laid the Governor, 
who strove to console him by saying that as he had never 

4 The Portuguese settlement was fixed in a small coral island close to the 
shore, which was well fortified, and contained large public buildings. 
VOL. I. I 

114 S^' Francis Xavier, 

known of the lad's ignorant state he could not be responsible 
for it, that the simple fact that there should be any one in the 
same ship with him in need of instruction without his knowing 
it was a reproach to him. 

We may leave the further details of the voyage to India 
to be gathered from the following letter, written from Goa some 
months after his arrival at that city.^ 

(x.) To the Society at R 


May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

When on the point of sailing from Lisbon with Father Paul 
and Francis Mancias, I wrote to you a long letter about our 
voyage to India. And now, as you asked me to let you know 
of our arrival in India as soon as I should have leisure to do 
so, I send you this account of our voyage. We left Lisbon 
on the 7th April 1541, and reached India the 6th May of this 
the following year, having thus spent a year and more in the 
voyage, which is generally made in about six months. We 
sailed in the same vessel with the Governor, who treated us 
the whole time with great consideration : and we had all of 
us fair enough health. All the time there was no lack of con- 
fessions to hear, either of the sick, or others, and we never 
missed preaching on the Sundays. I count it a great favour 
from God that, while I was passing over the realm of fishes, I 
found men to whom to announce the Divine mysteries and to 
administer the sacrament of penance, quite as necessary on sea 
as on land. 

In the course of the voyage we touched at an island called 
Mozambique, where we wintered for six months, together with 
the whole multitude of persons belonging to five large vessels. 
There are two cities in the island, one garrisoned by the Por- 

^ A close inspection of this and the other longer letters of Francis Xavier 
will enable the reader easily to detect that they were written at intervals, not all 
at once. Thus in the present letter he relates his arrival at Goa, and then goes 
back to MeHnda and Socotra. 

Voyage to India. 115 

tuguese, the other occupied by friendly Mussulmans. While 
we were wintering there a great number of persons fell ill, 
and as many as eighty died. We quartered ourselves in the 
hospital all the time, employing ourselves in the service of the 
sick. Father Paul and Mancias waited on their bodily neces- 
sities, I attended to their souls also, hearing confessions con- 
tinually and giving communion, but, alone as I was, I could 
not do all that was wanted for them. On Sundays I preached 
to a very large audience, as the Governor himself attended : and 
I was also often called away to hear confessions elsewhere. 
So that all the time we were at Mozambique we had always 
plenty to do. The Governor, his suite, and all the soldiers 
showed us great courtesy, and by the favour of God we spent 
those six months greatly to the satisfaction of all and with much 
spiritual profit. 

Mozambique is about 900 leagues distant from India. The 
Governor was desirous of pursuing his voyage as soon as pos- 
sible, but owing to the season there were still a great number 
of persons ill. So he asked that some of us might remain in 
the island to help the sick who were to be left there, and who 
could not at once continue the voyage on account of their 
health. As he thought it best, Father Paul and Mancias re- 
mained. I accompanied the Governor, who was himself by 
no means well, that I might hear his confession, in case his 
malady got worse and led to anything more serious. So it is 
now some time since I reached India in his company, and I 
am now daily expecting my companions by the vessels which 
generally arrive from Mozambique in September. We are 
now in the fifth month since we arrived at Goa, the capital of 
India. It is a fine-looking city, entirely in the hands of Chris- 
tians. It has a convent of Franciscans, really very numerous, 
a magnificent cathedral with a large number of canons, and 
several other churches. There is good reason for thanking God 
that the Christian religion flourishes so much in this distant 
land in the midst of heathen. 

Our voyage from Mozambique to Goa lasted two months 
and more. We stopped ior a few days at Melinda, a port in- 

1 1 6 St. Francis Xavier, 

habited by Mussulmans who are friendly to the Portuguese, of 
whom there are some there, chiefly merchants. If any of them 
happen to end their days there, they are buried in large mounds, 
which are to be seen here and there with crosses over them 
which mark them out. The Portuguese have erected near the 
city a large and very handsome stone cross,^ which is gilt all 
over. I cannot express to you what joy I felt in looking at it. 
It seemed like the might of the Cross appearing victorious in 
the midst of the dominion of the unbelievers. 

The King of Melinda came on board our ship to compli- 
ment the Governor, and received him with kindness and friend- 
liness. While I was at Melinda we celebrated the funeral of 
a man who had died on board our ship, and we had the full 
service for him, much to the approval of the Mussulmans, who 
admired our funeral ceremonies very much. 

One of the principal Mahometan inhabitants of the city 
asked me whether our temples in which we go to pray were 
generally filled with Christian people, and how fervid and dili- 
gent Christians were in worshipping Christ ; for, said he, all 
piety had long ago grown cold among his own people, and he 
wished to know whether the same was usual among Christian 
men. There were seventeen mosques at Melinda, but three 
only were attended and even those by very few. The good 
man was quite perplexed, and knew not what to make of it, 
having no idea how it was that his own people had lost all reli- 
gion. He said it could only be on account of some great sin 
of their own. We had a great deal of conversation about this, 
and I told him that God, most Faithful and True, held the 
misbelievers and their prayers in abomination, and so willed 
that their worship, which He rejected altogether, should come 
to nought. My friend, who had very difterent notions fronx 
mine, was not satisfied, with this, and then a Saracen Caciz — 

^ This erection of crosses seems to have been a practice among the Portu- 
guese navigators. Vasco de Gama, in his celebrated voyage in 1497-99, when 
he first rounded the Cape of Good Hope and reached India, is said to have 
set up six crosses at different places, one of which, called after the Holy Ghost, 
was at Melinda, which town he was the first of his countrymen to visit. See 
Asia Portvguesa, by Faria y Sousa, Eng. Trans, t. i. p. 50, comp. 42. 

Voyage to India. iiy 

a Caciz is a teacher of the Mahometan law — came up, a man 
of very eminent ' learning, and he declared that if Mahomet 
did not appear again on earth to visit them within two years, 
he himself should renounce that religion. One sees in such 
cases in what anxiety and despair the life of unbelievers and 
wicked men is so often passed : and indeed this in itself is a 
blessing sent them by God, that they may be thereby warned 
of their state and led to conversion. 

After sailing from Melinda we touched at Socotra, an island 
about a hundred miles in circumference. It is a wild country 
with no produce, no corn, no rice, no millet, no wine, no fruit 
trees : in short, altogether sterile and arid, except that it has 
plenty of dates, out of which they make bread, and also abounds 
ih cattle.'' The island is exposed to great heat from the sun ; 
the people are Christian in name rather than in reality, won- 
derfully ignorant and rude : they cannot read or write. They 

7 Socotra is here described with very fair accuracy. Its real length is 70 
miles, by an average breadth of 15. The first Portuguese to visit it were Tris- 
tan de Cufia and others under his command in 1508. The old Portuguese 
account, Faria y Sousa, t. ii. p. 2, ch. i., says, ' Athwart the middle of it runs 
a ridge of hills as high as the clouds, yet not free from the sand of the shore, 
which is carried up to the very top by the north winds, and it is therefore barren, 
not only of plants but trees, only some small valleys that are under shelter of 
those winds. . . . Those valleys that are sheltered from the sand produce apple 
and palm trees, and the best aloes, which for its excellency is called Zocotorinos. 
The common food is maize, or Indian wheat, tamarinds, and milk. They are 
all Jacobite Christians, as the Ethiopians. The men use the names of the Apos- 
tles, the women chiefly that of Mary. They worship the Cross, which they wear 
on their clothes, and set up in their churches, where they pray thrice a day in 
the Chaldean language alternatively as in a choir : they receive but one wife, 
use circumcision, fasting and tithes. The men comely, the women so manly 
that they follow the war, and live like Amazons. . . . Their clothing, some cloth 
and skins, their habitation in caves, their weapons, stones and slings, . . . They 
were subject to the Arabian King of Caxem. Cuila found here an indifferent 
fort, not ill manned nor unprovided.' The writer then goes on to relate the 
brave feat of arms by which the fort was carried, and all the Moors put to death, 
except two. 'The natives, who had kept off, hearing of our success, came with 
their wives and children to thank our commander for delivering them from the 
heavy yoke of those infidels ; and he, to their great satisfaction, received them 
under the protection of the King of Portugal. The mosque was cleared and 
made a church of our Lady of Victories, and many were there baptized.' This 
confirms the statement in the letter oi St. Francis about the absence of baptism 
among these nominal Christians. 

1 1 8 St. Francis Xavier, 

have consequently no records of any kind. Still they pride 
themselves on being Christians. They have churches, crosses, 
and lamps. Each village has its Caciz, who answers to the 
Parish Priest. These Caciz know no more of reading or writ- 
ing than the rest; they have not even any books, and only 
know a few prayers by heart. They go to their churches four 
times a day — at midnight, at daybreak, in the afternoon, and 
in the evening. They use no bells ; but wooden rattles, such 
as we use during Holy Week, serve to call the people toge- 
ther. Not even the Caciz themselves understand the prayers 
which they recite : which are in a foreign language (I think 
Chaldean). They render special honours to the Apostle St. 
Thomas, claiming to be descendants of the Christians begot- 
ten to Jesus Christ by that Apostle in these countries. In 
the prayers I have mentioned they often repeat a word which 
is like our alleluia. The Caciz never baptize any one, nor do 
they know the least what Baptism is. Whilst I was there I 
baptized a number of children, with the utmost goodwill of 
their parents. Most of them showed great eagerness to bring 
their children to me, and made such liberal offerings out of 
their poverty of what they had to give, that I should have 
been afraid to refuse the dates which they pressed upon me 
with such great goodwill. They also begged me over and 
over again to remain with them, promising that every single 
person in the island would be baptized. So I begged the 
Governor to let me remain where I found a harvest so ripe 
and ready to be gathered in. But as the island has no Por- 
tuguese garrison, and it is exposed to the ravages of the Mus- 
sulmans, the Governor would not hear of leaving me, fearing 
that I might be carried off as a slave. So he told me that I 
should soon be among other Christians who were not less, 
perhaps more, in need than the Socotrians of instruction and 
spiritual assistance, and amongst whom my work would be 
better spent. 

One day I went to Vespers as recited by the Caciz ; they 
lasted an hour. There was no end to their repetitions of 
prayers and of incensations : the churches are always lull of 

Voyage to India, 1 1 9 

incense. Though their Caciz have wives, they are extremely 
strict in regard to abstinence and fasting. When they fast 
they abstain not only from flesh meat and milk, but from fish 
also, of which they have a great supply. So strict is their rule 
that they would rather die than taste anything ot the kind. 
They eat nothing but vegetables and palm dates. They have 
two Lents, during which they fast; one ol these lasts two 
months. If any one is profane enough to eat meat during 
that time, he is not allowed to enter the church. 

In a village in the island there was a Mussulman woman 
the mother of two young children. Not knowing that their 
father was a Mussulman, I was going to give them baptism, 
when they ran off, all of a sudden, to their mother to complain 
that I was trying to baptize them. The mother came to say 
that she would never let me baptize her children. She was a 
Mahometan, and would never have her children made Christians. 
Upon this the people of Socotra began to cry out that the 
Mussulmans were unworthy of so great a blessing ; that they 
would not let them be baptized however much they desired it, 
and that they would never permit any Mussulman to become 
a Christian. Such is their hatred of Mussulmans. 

We set sail from the island at the end of February, and the 
6th of May, as I have told you, we arrived at Goa. 

[The five vessels which we left at Mozambique sailed thence 
in March. One of these, the largest of all, and laden with 
valuable merchandise, was wrecked and lost. The crew were 
saved ; the other four arrived safe.^] 

Here at Goa I live in the Hospital, administering to the 
sick the Sacraments of confession and comrafunion. But, be- 

8 These few lines must have been inserted in the letter by some copyist. St. 
Francis speaks a little further on of the arrival oi F. Paul and Mancias, who 
must have been on board these vessels, as still expected by him. He is to leave 
for Cape Comorin, and the Governor promises to send them after him. The 
ship which was lost seems to have been the largest of the whole fleet, irom 
which the Governor transferred himseh and his suite on leaving Mozambique. 
It is said (see Massei, 1. i. ch. iii. p. 58) that St. Francis always spoke 01 the 
ship as if she were destined to some great calamity. Predictions 01 this kind 
are irequent in his hfe. 

I20 St. Francis Xavier. 

sides the sick, such numbers of other persons want me to hear 
their confessions, that, if I could be in ten different places at 
once, I should never lack penitents. After attending to the 
sick, I gave my morning to hearing confessions : after mid- 
day I used to go to the prisons, and after giving the prisoners 
instructions as to making their confessions, I heard the con- 
fessions of their whole life. When I had got through this, I 
went to the Church of our Lady, which is near the Hospital, 
and there I began to teach the children — as many as three 
hundred were often present — their prayers, the Creed, and the 
Ten Commandments. Upon this the Bishop of Goa ordered 
the same to be done in the other churches, and it still con- 
tinues to be practised. The fruits gained from it surpass all 
expectation, and have delighted the whole city. 

Whilst I remained at our Lady's Church I used to preach 
in the morning on Sundays and holidays to the people pro- 
miscuously. In the afternoon I explained the articles of the 
Creed to the natives, and the crowd of hearers was so great 
that the church could hardly contain them. I afterwards 
taught them the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Apostles' 
Creed, and the Ten Commandments of the Law of God. On 
Sundays I used to say mass for the lepers, whose hospital is 
close to the city, heard their confessions, and gave them com- 
munion. There was not one of them who did not approach 
the sacraments : and after the first sermon I preached to them 
they were all devoted to me. 

I am now setting out by the Governor's order for a coun- 
try where there is reason to hope that many will become 
Christians. Three students from the same country go with 
me, two of whom are deacons, fairly acquainted with Portu- 
guese, as well as with their native tongue : the third has only 
received minor orders. I am in good hopes that my labours 
there may produce precious fruits for our holy religion. As 
soon as Fathers Paul and Mancias arrive from Mozambique, 
the Governor has promised to send them to join me. The 
place I speak of is called Cape Comorin, six hundred miles 
distant from Goa. I pray God, that for the sake of your 

Labours at Goa. 121 

prayers, He may be pleased to forget my sins and to grant me 
all the grace I am in need of, that I may do Him good service 
in those parts. 

All the sufferings of the long voyage, all the charge of 
bearing the sins of others while one has to bear the weight of 
his own, the having to live a long time together among unbe- 
lievers, and the extreme heat of the sun in this climate — all 
these trials, if borne as they ought to be borne for the love of 
God, turn out to be very great consolations and the subject of 
many and intense spiritual delights. I am perfectly persuaded 
in my own mind that the lovers of the Cross of our Lord 
Christ consider a life of trials of this sort a blessed hfe, and 
that to fly from or to be without the Cross is death to them. 
For can there be a more cruel death than to live without Jesus 
Christ, after having once known Him, or to forsake Him for 
the sake of following our own desires? I assure you, dear 
friends, no cross is to be compared to such a cross as that. 
On the other hand, how blessed it is to live dying a daily 
death, breaking our own wills, that we may seek, not what is 
our own, but what belongs to Jesus Christ ! 

And now, dearest brothers, I entreat and conjure you by 
God to write to me about every single member of our Society, 
that as I have no hope that I shall see them in this life, as St. 
Paul sa-ys, facie ad faciem^ I may at least see them/<?r cenigma, 
in a dark manner, that is by means of your letters. Unworthy 
as I am, do not refuse me this boon. Remember that God has 
made you such, that I have the right to expect great conso- 
lation from you, and to receive it. Give me diligent instruc- 
tions what method I should pursue in dealins; with the heathen 
and the Mussulmans to whom I am sent, for I look forward 
to learning from God, through what you write to me, how I am 
to make them Christians without difficulty, and I expect to 
come to see, from your instructions, and so to correct, any 
blunders I may commit while I am waiting to hear from you. 
Meanwhile I don't despair, that by the merits and prayers of 
our holy Mother Church, on which I rely greatly, and through 
the prayers of you and others her living members, our Lord 

122 St. Francis Xavier. 

Christ may deign to sow the seed of the Gospel by means of 
me, wicked servant though I am, in the land of the heathen, 
more especially since, as He uses so poor a creature as I am 
for so great a work, it will put to shame men who are born 
with capacities for great things, as well as be a spur to others 
of weak courage, when they see me who am but dust and ashes 
and the vilest of men made to bear witness from my own ex- 
perience to the extreme scarcity which here exists of Apos- 
tolical labourers. Ah, how gladly would I make myself the 
slave during my whole life of any who would come out here 
and devote themselves to labour in the vineyard of the Lord 
of all! 

And thus, then, I end my letter, imploring God, of His 
infinite mercy, to gather us all one day into that blessed joy 
of His for which we are made, and here in this life to increase 
our strength, so that we may labour in His service with the 
diligence which it deserves, and thus make ourselves entirely 
and altogether conformed unto His holy decrees and will. 

Your useless brother in Jesus Christ, 

Francis Xavier. 

Goa, September i8th, 1542. 

It may here be remarked that this letter, which is a fair 
specimen of those which Francis Xavier wrote from time to 
time during the remaining years of his life to his friends in 
Europe, leaves out, as might be expected, the circumstances 
most to his own personal credit. It is hardly necessary to re- 
peat that nothing else could have been expected, not only front 
a person of singular holiness, but even from a person of ordi- 
nary modesty and good sense, and that few things can be more 
absurd than to question the many personal details which have 
been added to our knowledge by the companions and friends 
of St. Francis, on the ground that he himself makes no men- 
tion of them. We may add, also, that his life, even on board 
ship, and much more when he was once launched on his 
missionary career in India, was a life of extraordinary labour 
and active occupation, and that it is really wonderful that he 

Labours at Goa, 123 

should have found time to write letters so long and so full in 
detail as many that remain to us, which, however, represent 
only a percentage of the whole number which he is known to 
have written. 

Before we proceed further, a few words may be added as 
to his efforts in favour of the inhabitants of Socotra. We do 
not possess the letter which Francis Xavier wrote to the King 
of Portugal concerning these islanders, but we know that he 
represented their case so strongly, that a Portuguese fleet was 
ordered to call there on its way to India, and the island con- 
quered from the Mussulmans. At a later period, Xavier sent 
some members of the Society to preach to the people.^ 

It is not difficult to believe the deplorable accounts which 
are given us by the biographers of Xavier of the state of reli- 
gion at Goa at the time of his arrival in that city. The cir- 
cumstances of the case explain them and almost require them. 
The Portuguese were masters at Goa and in a number of other 
towns, chiefly along the coast, where their garrisons and fac- 
tories were established, and the general supremacy of the Por- 
tuguese crown was recognized to a certain extent by many of 
the native Princes in the interior. Goa itself, the capital, was 
a city of much beauty and size, strong in its insular situation, 
possessing fine buildings and some handsome churches. But 
its population was a mixture of Portuguese, Mahometans, and 
native Indians. The Portuguese were comparatively lew, 
though of course dominant, and a great number 01 them were 
adventurers of all sorts, merchants, soldiers, and the like, who 
had either left behind them in Europe, as it is too general for 
Europeans of all nations to leave behind them, even the sem- 
blance of outward religion and morality, or who had at all 
events become utterly corrupted by the temptations ot their 
new position and the vices ot their Mussulman neighbours, the 
influence of the climate, and the ease with which the Asiatics 
under their dominion lent themselves to be the instruments 
and victims of their profligacy. We shall find in the course of 

s Turselline, lib. i. ch. xvi. But Bartoli, Asia, 1. i. p. 439, does not mention 
the fleet, and puts the mission of the preachers after the death of Francis. 

124 St. Fraficis Xavier. 

the narrative of the life of St. Francis many instances of highly- 
religious officers and merchants, men really desirous of advanc- 
ing the glory of God and the spiritual welfare of the native 
population, and willing to put themselves to great expenses 
and to incur severe dangers, for the purpose of aiding the 
Apostle in his works of charity and zeal. But the majority 
of the Portuguese, even after the reform introduced by him, 
and much more before that time, seem' to have been such in 
their lives and conduct as to merit the severe language in 
which many writers speak of them. The Mussulmans, and 
some of the native heathens, were rich and powerful, impor- 
tant to the Portuguese Government on account of their num- 
bers, influence, and the commerce which was kept up through 
them, and they made no pretence of hiding their religions or 
desisting from their most abominable practices even in Goa 
itself. The lower and poorer orders among them were even 
oppressed and persecuted if they showed any inclination to 
adopt Christianity, and indeed the lives of the majority of the 
Christians were such as to scandalize and revolt them. Many 
of the Portuguese led the most licentious lives, as too many 
of the European officers and officials in India do at the pre- 
sent time. Few Portuguese ladies could venture as far as In- 
dia, and an almost recognised system of concubinage prevailed 
among the Europeans, who differed very little in this respect 
from the Mussulmans themselves. When marriages had been 
contracted the women had become Christians, but they were 
extremely ignorant of the religion which they had adopted, 
and their children were growing up almost entirely without 

On the other hand, there were not wanting attempts at 
better things, which, however, had hitherto failed of success. 
The Bishop of Goa was an old Franciscan friar of the name of 
John Albuquerque, a good and holy man, but his jurisdiction" 
was extremely extensive, embracing the whole of India and 
the Portuguese settlements in the East, and his activity was 
not equal to his piety and personal holiness. As a rule, the 
priests and religious to be found in Goa confined their labours 

Labours at Goa, 125 

to the Portuguese, and made few attempts at the conversion 
of the heathen. We must remember also, that in Europe itself, 
at the time of which we speak, the frequentation of the Sacra- 
ments had in many parts died out, and that, as we have men- 
tioned above, even in Rome, it was strange to go often to 
Communion or for priests to preach except in Lent and Advent, 
A zealous Franciscan friar, Diego de Borba, a disciple of John 
of Avila, had been four years in Goa and had begun a good 
work in which he found many associates, for the benefit of the 
Indians. A College had been founded at Goa, through his 
exertions,^^ in which a large number of native boys from all 
parts of India were educated, with the intention that they 
should ultimately become Priests for their own countries, or at 
least interpreters and catechists for other missionaries. The 
College was endowed with an annual revenue by the Govern- 
ment out of funds which were taken away from the idolatrous 
priests. We shall hear more of the College, which was then 
called the College of Santa Fe, and afterwards of St. Paul. 
There was also a flourishing * Confraternity of Mercy,' an insti- 
tution to be found in most of the Portuguese settlements, de- 
voted to works of active charity. These were elements of good 
among the Portuguese of Goa which only required the breath 
of Apostolic zeal to quicken them into life, and we read of no 
opposition offered to St. Francis when he began the work of 

On landing at Goa, he took up his abode, as usual, in the 
hospital — for a hospital answering, as we have already said, 
the purposes of * poor house' as well, was sure to be found in 
every such city. He then went to the Bishop, and informed 
him of his mission from the Pope and the King — showing him 
his letters and faculties, including that which appointed him 
Apostolical Legate. At the same time he declared that he had 
no desire or intention of using the extraordinary powers con- 
ferred upon him, except so far as it seemed good and advisable 
to the Bishop himself. This absolute deference to the ordi- 

^0 The chief founder of this College was the predecessor of Martin Alfonso 
Sousa as Governor, Don Estevan de Gama, a son of the famous Vasco de Gama. 

126 St, Francis Xavier. 

nary ecclesiastical authority was a fixed principle with him dur- 
ing the whole of his missionary career, as it was also uniformly 
insisted upon by St. Ignatius in Europe. Francis adopted the 
principle not merely out of prudence, but in order that his 
work might have the blessing of obedience upon it as well as 
that of perfect union with the representatives of Divine autho- 
rity in the Church. 

We may also notice here, at the outset of his career in the 
East, other features of the method which he uniformly pur- 
sued, when it was possible, in the work of evangelizing the 
populations to whom he was sent. The practice of personal 
poverty, and of spending a large part of the night in prayer, 
while the day was given to active works of piety and charity, 
the devotion of his first care to those who most closely re- 
sembled our Lord in His sufi"ering life, the sick, the lepers, and 
the prisoners, and a peculiar attention to the instruction of 
children and the most ignorant, are some of those features 
which are copied directly from the example and precepts of 
our Lord. 

It is hardly necessary to add, that the good Bishop's heart 
was won at once by the humility and zeal of the new Apostle, 
and that from the first he became the fast friend of Francis. 
Indeed, the whole city was soon devoted to him, and in the 
space of five months a very great change for the better in mat- 
ters of religion was the fruit of his labours. The particulars 
given in the letter last cited may serve as a summary of these 
happy results. A few details have been added by his bio- 
graphers, gleaned from the memories of those who were at Goa 
at the time. The Governor, a pious and earnest man, as we 
have seen, took from Francis the custom of visiting the hos- 
pital and prison in person once a week, and this custom was 
afterwards recommended by the King to his successor. We 
are also told of Francis' manner of adapting himself to the 
character of the various persons, whom by private conversation 
he endeavoured to win to a more Christian life, sometimes ad- 
monishing them with the greatest gentleness and aftability, at 
other times putting the great truths of eternity, ot death, judg- 

Labours at Goa, 127 

ment and hell before them in the strongest and most terrible 
language. In this way a great number were induced to make 
their confession after a long period of disorderly life, to break 
off unlawful connections, or to render them lawful by marriage, 
as well as to make due restitution of unjust gains. The pecu- 
liar position of the Portuguese in India made the first of these 
kinds of disorders the most difficult to remedy in the majority 
of cases. Turselline, the first and in some respects the best 
biographer of St. Francis Xavier, has summed up so happily 
the tradition of his manner of dealing with these cases, that we 
may give it here in his words instead of in our own. ' Xavier,' 
he says, 'thinking within himself that he "ought to apply some 
remedy to this great evil, began to dispose them with all the 
endeavour he could use. And first he went about to win them 
by all courteous means ; then, as he met them in the streets, 
he would merely request them to invite a poor priest to their 
ordinary fare ; which they willingly accepted of. He now sit- 
ting at table would before, or at, their repast, entreat his host 
to cause his children to be called ; whereupon the little chil- 
dren coming presently at their father's call, Francis would take 
them up in his arms and hug them to his bosom, thanking! 
God Who had given the father such children for the hope of 
his family, and withal would pray God to grant them a good 
and holy life. Then would he desire that their mother might 
be called (a thing which in another would have been temerity, 
but his sanctity easily excused it). When she was come, he 
would speak sweetly unto her, and commend her heartily to 
his host, thereby to draw him to take her to his wife, saying 
that doubtless she was of an excellent disposition and lovely 
countenance, so that she might well be accounted a Portu- 
guese, that the children which he had by her were certainly 
worthy of a Portuguese to their father. Why therefore did he 
not marry her } What wife could he have better ? And he 
should do well to provide with all speed for his children's credit 
and the woman's honesty. 

* Which wholesome counsel of his proved not unprofitable. 
For by his words and authority without great difficulty he per- 

128 St, Francis Xavien 

suaded many of them to marry their mistresses, being himself 
witness thereof. But if by chance he lighted upon any one 
who had by some illfavoured Indian woman children like unto 
herself, then assuming great indignation thereat, he would cry 
out, Good God ! what a monster have we here ! Do you keep 
a devil in your house ? Can you keep company with this ugly 
beast? Can you have children by her? Follow my counsel: 
drive this monster, this prodigious creature, presently out of 
your house, and seek you a wife worthy of yourself. So in put- 
ting away his mistress, he married a wife.' 

We may add, to complete the picture, what the same writer 
adds of another practice of Francis Xavier : ' He, thirsting more 
after the salvation of souls than his own praise, was always 
thinking of some new ways how to help them, for the perform- 
ance whereof there was nothing which he would not do. And 
amongst the rest he had one invention which, in such a man 
as he, gave an admirable example of Christian simplicity, and 
was also more profitable in effect, than fair to show. He being 
a man of grave years and authority, went up and down the 
highways and streets with a little bell in his hand (so far was 
he from thinking anything disgraceful to him that might be 
grateful to God, and profitable for man's salvation) to call the 
children and servants together to Christian Doctrine, at the 
corners of the streets and crossways, sometimes stirring up 
the inhabitants to piety with these or suchlike words : " jFait/i 
ful Christia?is,for the love which you hear to Christy send your 
children and servants to the Christian Doctrine.''^ Which new 
invention made infinite numbers of children, slaves, and others 
to run flocking unto him from all places : all whom, he him- 
self marching before, he would lead into our Blessed Lady's 
Church, singing aloud the Catechism unto them, and teaching 
them the same, thereby to cause them the more willingly to 
come and hear him, and so the more easily to remember what 
was taught them in the manner of singing — both which proved 
afterwards to be so. And herein he used no less prudence 
than diligence. For knowing very well that his labour would 
then be profitably employed, if those things which ought to 

Labours at Goa, 129 

be learned were well understood, all that he sung he would 
explicate largely and clearly, according to the capacity of his 

' To the ruder sort and to slaves he would purposely speak 
after a rude and homely manner, that their own fashion of 
speech might keep them more attentive and make deeper im- 
pression in their minds — which endeavour of his was neither 
fruitless nor in vain. For from hence arose that so worthy a 
custom of teaching and learning the Christian Doctrine which 
is at this day practised in India. And because men reaped 
more fruit by it than was expected, the Bishop caused the same 
to be practised by others in the other churches, so as, advanc- 
ing himself in this new piety, those of the Society following 
Francis' institution, others stirred up thereunto partly by the 
Bishop's command, and partly by the example of the Society, 
it came at last to be a custom throughout all India, to the 
great advancement of the Christian cause. For this practice 
so spread itself abroad both in Goa and in other places, that 
everywhere in the schools, highways, streets, houses, fields, and 
ships, there were instead of vain and idle songs, sung and heard 
the principles of Christian faith with great delight. Wherefore 
it grew to a custom that children who could scarce speak did 
strive to sing most of those verses by heart. And in this exer- 
cise Xavier gave no less noble proof of his temperance and 
moderation, than of his industrious labours. For of all that 
was given to him under the title of alms, he received nothing 
to himself, but gave all to the sick and poor in the most pri- 
vate manner he could, to the end that human praise might not 
deprive him of any reward in the sight of God.'^^ 

The work of teaching the Christian doctrine, or Catechism, 
to children and the ignorant was considered so essential by 
the first Fathers of the Society, that it had been proposed dur- 
ing their deliberations in Rome, when the form of the Institute 
was to be drawn up and submitted to the Pope, to join a 
clause relating to this duty to the fourth and distinctive vow 
of the Professed, — that, namely, which binds them to special 

11 Turselline, lib. i. c. 3. 
VOL. T. ' K 

130 St, Francis Xavier, 

obedience to the Pope as to any missions on which he may- 
send them. This proposal was abandoned on account of the 
opposition of one only among the Fathers, Nicolas Bobadilla, 
but the fact shows the very high importance which Ignatius 
and his companions attached to the subject. Francis Xavier 
uniformly acted in the matter as if he had been bound by the 
proposed vow. The plan of setting the Christian doctrine to 
simple music, and teaching it in the way just mentioned by 
Turselline, was characteristic of his practical sense and joyous 
simplicity, and we find it specially mentioned as having been 
kept to throughout his career. In the Moluccas, the Processes 
tell us, he used to spend the day, after saying mass, in hear- 
ing confessions and teaching the rudiments of the faith to 
children and adults of both sexes in a church of our Lady, a 
great crowd attending his instructions ; and from this the cus- 
tom became general of the natives singing the prayers of the 
Doctrine as they were carrying their wares on board ship, and 
at night in their houses, * which thing,' it is said, * greatly moved 
all hearts to devotion. And not only there, and in Amboyna, 
and at Cape Comorin, but everywhere else where he taught, 
his prayers and teaching sank into their hearts as if they had 
been taught them by the Apostles themselves ; and his Cate- 
chism was taught all over India, the children singing it as they 
went to and came from school j and in the streets at night the 
slaves and boys and girls as they passed about were heard to 
sing no other songs than his.'^^ 

The last letter of St. Francis, which we have inserted 
above, makes mention of his approaching departure on his 
first missionary expedition, in aid of the recently converted 
Christians of the Fishery Coast. This coast and the neigh- 
bouring parts of Southern India formed the scene of his earliest, 
labours in that kind of Apostolate which was to be his chief 
occupation for the remainder of his short life, and we are for- 
tunate in possessing details of considerable importance con- 
cerning his method of action as well as the severe difficulties 
under which his work had to be carried on. There is some 
12 Rdatio super Sanctitate et Miraculis Sj'c, in cap. de Fide. 

Labours at Goa, 1 3 1 

little uncertainty as to the length of his first stay at the Fishery 
Coast, as there is not perfect agreement between the different 
editors of his Letters as to the date of some of them which 
were written from Goa after his departure for the Coast, and 
which make it evident that he returned to that city after his 
first stay among the natives. But the question is not of any 
real importance, and we shall take the liberty of inverting the 
order in which these letters are usually printed, for the sake of 
afterwards considering at one glance, and without interruption, 
all that remains to us concerning the mission to the Fisheries. 
The two following letters may probably, as we have hinted, 
have been written from Goa during a short visit paid by St. 
Francis to that city in the later months of 1543, after he had 
spent a year on the mission. They relate entirely to matters 
which concern the interests of religion in Goa, and were no 
doubt the fruit of many conferences between St. Francis and 
the Governor, Don Martin Alfonso de Sousa, over whom, as 
we have seen, he had acquired so excellent an influence. The 
second looks like a formal document, drawn up in such form 
as to be laid before the Pope or any of the authorities at 
Rome whom he might depute to consider whether the requests 
made in the name of the Governor could be granted. It asks 
for a plenary indulgence to be gained after confession and 
communion on the Feast of St. Thomas, the first Apostle of 
the Indies, and during his octave : for the same favour for the 
inmates of the hospitals of the city of Goa, and for those who 
wait upon them, every time they approach the sacraments, and 
also at the hour of death, and again for all the faithful on the 
feasts of our Blessed Lady, and for the members of the ' Con- 
fraternity of Mercy' and their wives, once a year and at the 
hour of death. Another demand is that on account 01 the 
very great distance between the various Portuguese settlements 
under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Goa, — the Moluccas 
and Malacca in the far East, Ormuz on the Persian Gulr, Diu, 
Sofala on the African coast, and Mozambique — a distance 
which prevented the Bishop from visiting them regularly, he 
might be allowed to delegate to his vicars in those places the 

132 St. Francis Xavier, 

power which, under such circumstances, is sometimes com- 
mitted to priests, of administering the sacrament of Confirm- 
ation. The last request strikes us as very strange,' and is put 
forward with some appearance of hesitation as to the possibi- 
Hty of the concession. It is proposed that as the chmate and 
seasons of India so far inverted the ordinary course of Hfe for 
the Portuguese in the East as to occupy them in the active 
pursuits either of commerce or warfare during the spring, which 
is there also the hot season, and as this led to a general dis- 
regard of the observance of the Lenten fast, the Church should 
change her seasons to suit the convenience of her children, 
and transplant the fast of Lent to the months of June and July. 
The grounds for all these requests are formally given in the 
document which we shall presently quote. 

The other letter which we shall place before that of which 
we have been speaking, is written with more freedom, though 
perhaps not with that entire abandonment of reserve which 
characterizes St. Francis when he is writing to St. Ignatius, 
with the certainty that he alone will see his letter. We see the 
warm and grateful interest which Francis felt towards the Go- 
vernor de Sousa — a good and pious man, who afterwards 
proved, we are told, wanting in firmness in his arduous charge 
— and his ingenious charity in suggesting to Ignatius the little 
attentions which will go most nearly to the heart of Sousa. 
His sanguine desires as to the large supply of missionaries of 
the Society are put forward under the authority of the Gover- 
nor. Francis had probably already begun to find out what 
was to be a very principal cross to him for the remainder of his 
life. The work at the centre of the Church is at some times 
so overwhelming that even thie largest-hearted men at home 
are fain to shrink from the sacrifice involved in sending the 
best instruments at their disposal to a distance among the 
heathen. Later on we shall find Ignatius coming even to the 
conclusion that he must withdraw St. Francis himself from the 
East : and we may well imagine how the eager Apostle of the 
Indies felt at Goa, with the fine college of Santa Fe ready for 
his workmen, with so many new fields of labour opening out 

Labours at Goa, 133 

daily before him, as month after month passed without bring- 
ing him the long-desired reinforcements, or even a letter from 
his tenderly loved brethren in Europe to assure him of their 

(xi.) To the Father Master Ignatius of Loyola, 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

Some persons out here, guided, it is clear, by the inspira- 
tion of God, have lately founded a College at Goa, and no 
work could be named of which there was greater need in these 
parts. It increases daily, and we have great cause for giving 
thanks to God for the establishment of such a house for the 
instruction, I trust, of many converts and the conversion of 
many infidels. The building of the College is in the hands of 
men of great virtue and high position. The Governor himself 
favours the business greatly, and is so convinced that the de- 
sign is one which tends to the advancement of the Christian 
religion, that it is chiefly with his funds and by means of him 
that the buildings destined for the purpose seem likely to be 
enlarged and finished in a short space of time. The church, 
which is close to the College, is of a very handsome design. 
The foundations were laid a long time ago, now the walls are 
finished, and they are putting on the roof. It will be conse- 
crated next summer. If you want to know its size, it is twice 
as large as the church of the Sorbonne at Paris. The income 
allotted to the College is large enough to support easily a hun- 
dred students, and people think it will be further increased 
continually.^^ Indeed, we hope, with God's help, that in a few 
years many will go forth from this place who will do good ser- 
vice to religion in these countries, and extend far and wide 
the boundaries of holy Church. 

Judging from these beginnings, I hope that by six years' 
time the students of the College will number quite three hun- 

^3 The College was endowed originally with an annual sum of 800 crowns, 
which, as has been said, had formerly gone to the maintenance of pagan priests. 

134 ^^- Francis Xavier. 

dred, youths of all races, nations, and tongues, and that by 
their labours the number of Christians will be very greatly in- 
creased. The Governor has promised that as soon as the 
heathen give him a little leisure (for he is constantly at war 
with them), he will get the College buildings rapidly finished. 
He has made up his mind that there is no work to be done in 
India more pious and holy than this, that the dedication of 
such houses to Christ has enabled him to win many and great 
victories which he has already won over the heathen, and he 
trusts with the help of God to win by and bye even greater. 
So I do beg of you over and over again, by Christ our Lord 
and His religion, to pray yourself for Don Martin Sousa, and 
have him commended to the prayers of the Society, that God 
may supply him abundantly with counsel and help from on high 
to govern well this immense province of India, so that he may so 
pass through things temporal as not to lose things eternal. ^"^ 

And indeed, if I thought there was any room for recom- 
mendation from me, I should commend him to you as I would 
myself. His great virtue has rendered him so dear to me, 
that I do not love him less tenderly than he appears to love 
me, though all our affection and mutual services have the 
single object of the glory of Jesus Christ. Heaven forbid I 
should ever forget him. If I were to do so, I should expect 
to have to pay very severe penalties to God for so much in- 
gratitude. The Governor is writing to the King about the 
College, that, if it seems well, his Highness may write to the 
Holy Father to urge him to send some of our Society to India, 
to be the future props of this College. Some people call it 
the College of the Conversion of St. Paul, others the College 
of the Holy Faith. This last name appears to me the best 
name for it, as its students seem to be educated for the pur- 
pose of sowing the seed of the Christian faith in the minds of 
the infidels. 

The Governor has charged me to write to you at length 
about the College and its establishment, and I therefore do 

1* Latin words in the original : ni sic transeat per bona temporalia, ut no/i 
amittat ceterna. Tlie words are taken from a collect in the Missal. 

Labours at Goa. 135 

so. The object of the institute is to bring up native boys of 
various nations in the Christian reHgion, who when sufficiently 
instructed may be sent home to teach their fellowcountrymen. 
I can find no words to tell you how much the Governor ap- 
proves our Society and its institute. He considers that as you 
have been the means by which God has called us all into the 
Society of His Son, he owes it to his duty to God and his 
office to take care that you are informed by letter how very 
necessary it is that the youth of the College be instructed, in 
order that you may think of sending over here some of the 
Society for this purpose. He says that it is his business to 
finish the buildings of the College, and yours to provide it 
with competent teachers for the young men. He thinks also 
that it is important for the dignity of religion and the increase 
of piety in this country, that the Pope should be induced to 
grant to the high altar of this church the privilege of the liber- 
ation of a soul from Purgatory each time that mass is cele- 
brated thereon for. the dead, just as if it were at what is called 
a privileged altar at Rome. And ,that all question of gain to 
the priest who may wish to celebrate the mass there, may be 
excluded, he wishes the grant to be made out so as to contain 
the condition, that the privilege may only be gained when the 
priest says mass at this altar gratuitously, with no expectation 
of fee or human consideration, and when the person who gets 
it said goes to confession and receives communion at that 
mass. It is certainly quite fair that one who would set free 
the soul of another from Purgatory should first set his own free 
from hell and eternal damnation. The Governor's reason for 
wishing that some special Indulgence should be granted by 
the Pope to the priests who say mass at the altar, is that they 
may be attracted by such an advantage and be desirous of 
saying mass there ; and he is very anxious that this Pontifical 
favour should be granted, in order to enhance the veneration 
for the shrine and increase the piety of the people. All these 
requests of his will be enough to make you understand the 
character of the good man, who feels so rightly about holy 
things and matters of piety, and is so painstaking about them. 

36 5/. Francis Xavien 

I do not doubt that when you send some subjects out here, 
one or indeed many of them will be of approved virtue and 
constancy, as men should be who will have to administer a 
College like this, and to undergo all the many trials which 
this country is sure to afford. Sea and land alike will put their 
strength and virtue abundantly to the test. The work requires 
men of strong constitution and in vigorous health: young men 
will do better than old men, though we will not refuse the old, 
if they are hale and active. All who come will be welcomed 
with kindness and good will by the people here, and will be 
asked at once to hear confessions, to give pious meditations, 
and to preach. The harvest will be great and abundant. We 
have already more than sixty native children ready who are 
now being instructed by Diego de Borba, an excellent Fran- 
ciscan friar. At the beginning of the summer they will move 
into the College. Most of them know how to read, several 
know how to write and are far enough on to be taught gram- 
mar. I tell you this that you may send us a good master for 
them, and, when he comes, he will find plenty of work in the 
discharge of his office. 

His Excellency also hopes that, among those whom we ex- 
pect from you, there may be one who is a Preacher, who may 
give instructions to the priests in things of necessity, lecturing 
on a part of the Scriptures, or the sacraments (for the gener- 
ality of those who come out here are not overburthened with 
learning), and at the same time rouse them up to the love 
of God and devoted care of the salvation of men, as well by 
his example as by his teaching. I need not tell you that deeds 
are more persuasive than words. As for the rest of our peo- 
ple, he wishes them to be such as may labour with diligence in 
hearing confessions, administering the sacraments, and con- 
verting the heathen. This island itself may yield an abundant 
harvest in the conversion of heathen.^^ A great number of these 
lie utterly destitute of help in the darkness and night of super- 

1^ He speaks of the island, or peninsula, in which Goa stood, which con- 
tained a large heathen population. The Epistolce Indices of subsequent years 
speak of numerous conversions among them. 

Labours at Goa, 13/ 

stition, ignorant altogether of the God Who made them and 
Who is their Lord. So the Governor expects you to send him 
three Priests and a Master of Humanities. He is also writing 
himself to the King, if I am not mistaken, to beg him to ask 
the Pope for four of our Society. He also asks for certain 
Indulgences, a list of which I send in a separate letter, so 
that when they have been granted, at the King's petition, our 
brothers who are to come out may bring them to India. I 
would have you thoroughly to understand that this service 
will win them the good will of all the Portuguese who are in 
India, and give them much consideration and authority, which 
will be found of the greatest value when they have to implant 
divine truths in the minds of these people. Of all the nations 
that I have seen, the Portuguese is the one which seems to, me 
to go furthest in prizing Indulgences from Rome, and to be the 
most drawn to the frequentatian of the sacraments by attrac- 
tions of this kind. So I trust that, both to cherish this devo- 
tion of the nation that I mention, and also in consideration of 
their profound devotion to the Holy See, the Holy Father will 
be pleased to show himself very liberal in granting the request 
of children so obedient to him. Whatever graces of this sort 
may be obtained from the Holy Father you will take care to 
have sent to us with the documents in full form, that there 
may be the greater certainty and dignity about the concession. 
His Excellency, I think, is writing to you himself. Though 
he has never seen you, he is devoted to you and to all the 
Society as well. Pray write to him and send him a couple of 
rosaries with the Papal Indulgences attached, as a present 
for himself and his wife. They will please him very much, 
both for the sake of the Indulgences and because they come 
from you. He begs you, moreover, because he has so much 
confidence in your influence and friendship, to obtain for him 
as a favour from the Pope, that every time he, his wife, or his 
children go to confession, they may gain all the Indulgences 
of the Seven Churches at Rome. If you do this for him, he 
will be greatly indebted to you. Moreover he will think that 
I have really some little influence with you, if you obtain these 

"138 St. Francis Xavier. 

favours which I have mentioned from the Pope in consequence 

of this letter which I write to you in his name. But now I 

make an end, conjuring Jesus Christ our Lord, Who in His 

infinite mercy has united us under the same rule of life here, 

to be pleased to unite us after death in everlasting happiness. 

The least of your sons, and the most distant from your 

presence, _ 


Goa, Oct. 18, 1543. 

(xii.) To the Father Master Ignatius of Loyola. 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
assist and favour us ! Amen. 

The Governor of India, to whom we are all greatly in- 
debted, both those of us who are here and who are at Rome, 
on account as well of his great zeal for the worship of God as 
of his especial love for our Society, has asked me to write to 
you concerning various spiritual wants of these countries. He 
is himself so much disposed to religion, and his requests are 
so conformable to piety and virtue, that I wiUingly undertake 
to make these petitions to you in his name. 

In the first place, as the people of India honour with an 
especial worship the Apostle St. Thomas, the patron of India, 
the Governor, with a view to increase and honour this their 
veneration and worship, would wish that his Holiness should 
grant a Plenary Indulgence on the day of the Feast of that 
Apostle and seven days after, to those only who within that 
time shall duly go to confession and communion. He has 
named this condition, that the people may be induced to ap- 
proach the sacraments, and that the feast day may be kept 
with due piety and observance, and this all the more because 
Lent falls in the summer in these countries, when everybody 
here is soldiering. The Indians are masters on the land, the 
Portuguese at sea. The consequence is that the holy season 
of Lent is spent in military occupations and in navigation, and 
thus the soldiers and the merchants have commonly no time 
to approach the sacraments of penance and holy communion. 

Labours at Goa, 139 

The Governor therefore, that men may be attracted to the 
sacraments, asks the Holy Father to grant them the induce- 
ment of this Indulgence, which is likely to be a sort of Lent. 

In the second place, he prays you to obtain from the Holy 
Father in favour of the hospitals of the city, that the sick and 
those who wait upon them may obtain a Plenarv Indulgence as 
often as they go to confession and receive holy communion, 
and that the dying may receive the same Indulgence. He asks 
this in order that the sick may be induced to approach the 
sacraments more frequently, that the others may more will- 
ingly wait on the sick and give themselves to pious works with 
greater fervour, and that all, sick and strong, may worship God 
in purity and piety, and set a good example to the heathen 
among whom they live and dwell. 

Again, his Excellency is remarkably devout to the Blessed 
Mother of God, and keeps her festivals most religiously. By 
far the greatest part of the year he spends at Goa with a large 
Court. Goa is a city in the island of the same name, about 
ten miles broad : and in this island there are several churches 
of our Lady, really very devotional and rich, well worth notice 
as to architectural beauty, vestments, sacred vessels, numbers 
of priests, and celebration of worship. As those churches keep 
each in their turn the festivals of our Lady with great magnifi- 
cence, the Governor, in order to increase the number of wor- 
shippers and the true veneration of the Blessed Virgin, asks 
that any one who may visit these churches on those feast days 
after having been to confession and communion, may gain a 
Plenary Indulgence. Such graces are really more needed in 
India than elsewhere in Christian countries, because, the number 
of Christians being very large — for the Portuguese are very nu- 
merous, the Indian converts are numerous, and a large number 
are continually being received — still the number of priests is 
wonderfully small. They are quite unable to hear all the 
confessions in Lent. So the Governor, in order that no one 
out here may live without confession and communion, makes 
these requests to the Holy Father through you, in order that 
every one may have a wish to receive the sacraments, and that 

140 St. Francis Xavier, 

all may make use of these true treasures of grace left to us by 
our Blessed Lord for the attainment of eternal happiness. 

Again, we have in this city, as well as in most other places 
where Christians have settled, a Confraternity of good men 
who undertake the relief of the poor among the inhabitants 
whether old Christians or converts. It is called the Confra- 
ternity of Mercy, and consists entirely of Portuguese. The 
ardour and perseverance with which these pious people serve 
God by relieving the poor is quite incredible. In order to 
kindle still more their charity, the Governor asks the Holy 
Father to grant them a Plenary Indulgence once a year, after 
confession and communion, and the same at the hour of 
death. As most of them are married, he would like these 
favours to be extended to the wives as well as the husbands. 

The Portuguese are not only masters of thd Indian sea, 
but they also occupy different places on the coast, where they 
reside with their wives and children. These places are very 
far apart. Thus, from Goa to the Moluccas,^*^ where the King 
of Portugal has a fortress, is about looo leagues ; to Malacca, 
a city where the Christians are very numerous, 500 leagues ; 
to Ormuz, a famous city, much frequented by the Portuguese, 
400 leagues; to Diu, 300 leagues; to Mozambique, 900 leagues; 
to Sofala, 1200 leagues. In each of these cities the Bishop of 
Goa has a Vicar-General, being unable to visit them regularly 
in person on account of the great distance. The Governor 
therefore, knowing how necessary the sacrament of Confirma- 
tion is to Christians living among savages and continually at 
war with the infidels^ would ask the Holy Father, with the 
object of fortifying the Christian faith in India, to give the 
Bishop of Goa faculties to delegate to his Vicars the power of 
administering Confirmation, since a single Bishop could never 
satisfy the wants of places so far distant, let him be ever so 
willing to do so. 

In these countries nature has so completely inverted the 
regular order of the seasons, that when on the other coast of 
India it is full summer, here on this side we are feeling the 

1^ Francis speaks of ' Molucco' as a single place. 

Labours at Goa, 141 

winter ; and so on this, when they are under the winter colds, 
we are burnt up by the summer heats. And the heat in sum- 
mer is something incredible. The sun is so hot, that fish 
begin to rot as soon as they die. So, during the hot season, 
when the sea on this side is navigated, it is shut on the other 
on account of tempests which frighten every one from sailing 
at that time. And, as I said before, in the season of Lent all 
the troops take arms and go on board the vessels for a sea 
campaign, and the merchants in like manner are in perpetual 
motion to and fro. For the Portuguese here, having greater 
command of sea than of land, are engaged in commerce, and 
support themselves and their families thereby. Thus, what with 
the excessive heat which I speak of, and what with the almost 
continual voyages of the Portuguese, Lent is disregarded and 
few persons observe the law of fasting. The Governor has 
charged me to lay all these facts carefully before you, and to 
beg of you in the name of God, that if such a thing be pos- 
sible, you will get the Pope to change the time of Lent in 
these parts to the months of June and July, at which time of 
year the heat begins to relent, and there is much less naviga- 
tion, on account of the roughness of the sea. So the milder 
temperature would make it easy for most people to fast, and 
the return of Lent at that time would be a sort of reminder, 
and they would then easily obey the precepts of the Church 
as to confession and communion. This measure is one which 
seems of the greatest importance for the service of God, un- 
less you see any objection to it. The Governor entreats you 
earnestly not to let anything that can be done in this matter 
be left unattempted through any want of exertion on the part 
of his advocate. You will be rewarded for your trouble by the 
gratitude of all the inhabitants of these countries, and you 
will have a share in the fruits of the divine worship and the 
merits which will be acquired in consequence of all those 
graces. Adieu. 

Goa, Oct. 20, 1543. 

P.S. As I was leaving Lisbon, I wrote to you about a 

142 St, Francis Xavier. 

College of the Society which the King was thinking of estab- 
lishing at Coimbra, in the public University. He commis- 
sioned me to write and ask you for some of our Society for 
the purpose, and to offer his own assistance and favour for the 
buildings, as well as an endowment, for there is a great dearth 
in Portugal of men well fitted to instruct their heathen fellow- 
subjects,'7 separated from them as they are by such an im- 
mense distance, in the faith and precepts of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Pray let me know as soon as possible what you have 
done in the matter. 

Your child in Christ, 


17 ethnicos populares suos. The words are not quite free from ambiguity, 
but they seem to refer to the Indians ; and the College of Coimbra, which Simon 
Rodriguez stayed in Portugal to found, was intended by St. Ignatius to feed the 
Indian mission. 


Francis Xavier among the Paravas, 

It has already been mentioned that the first mission under- 
taken by St. Francis Xavier beyond the limits of the Portu- 
guese city of Goa, was to the native Indians in the extreme 
south of the peninsula, dwelling along the coast which stretches 
eastwards from Cape Comorin as far as the point opposite the 
island which the old geographers called Rammanakoyel, at 
the northwestern extremity of the ridge of shoals known as 
Adam's Bridge, which reaches as far as Manaar close to the 
coast of Ceylon, and forms the boundary of the modern Gulf 
of Manaar. The whole of this coast derives its chief celebrity 
from the pearl fishery, which is carried on by the inhabitants, 
and which is probably the most famous in the world, though 
the Bahrein pearls are now said to be finer than those here 
obtained. The natives of the coast of which we speak, the 
Paravas, were low in caste, poor, and ill able to defend them- 
selves against tyranny and aggression. When the Portuguese 
first came to India, and indeed down to a short time before 
the mission of St. Francis Xavier among them, they had been 
made subject by the Mussulmans — retaining, however, their 
own nominal chiefs — and the fisheries had been carried on by 
them for the benefit of their masters. A chance outrage, how- 
ever, had opened the way alike to Portuguese influence and 
at least a superficial introduction of Christianity among them. 
At Tuticorin, a considerable town on the coast, about half 
way between the two extreme points, a Mussulman had wan- 
tonly torn an earring out of the ear of a Parava. This act 
was considered as the extremity of insult, and the Parava at 
once killed him. A conflict ensued, in which many Paravas 

144 *5^» Francis Xavier. 

lost their lives. They retaliated by collecting assistance from 
a number of their villages, and making a massacre of the Mus- 

But the Paravas were the weaker party, and this was per- 
fectly well known to their own chiefs, who, in the accounts 
that remain to us, are called kings. These seem to have been 
frightened by the great preparations made by the Mussulmans, 
especially by sea, and hastened to make terms with them, 
undertaking, as it would seem, to punish their own subjects 
severely. The Paravas, an unwarlike and mild race, were in 
the greatest perplexity and alarm, and at the suggestion of a 
' Christian Knight,' a converted native noble, who had gone 
to Portugal and been received with favour by the King, they 
applied for assistance from the Portuguese authorities at Cochin, 
sending a number of their Patangats, or Patangatins — officials 
somewhat answering, it appears, to the ' maires-de-village' in 
Europe — as ambassadors to plead their cause. The mixture 
of religion and policy in the advice of this Joam de Cruz is 
characteristic. ' He,' says Turselline, * being a man both 
grave and pious, and hoping this fear of theirs might be an 
occasion to bring in the Gospel of Christ among them, so as 
at once they might be set free from the misery both of their 
war and their superstitions, told them his opinion was that in 
this extremity of danger they were to fly to extreme remedies ; 
and seeing, contrary to all justice and equity, they were be- 
trayed by their own kings, and hardly charged on all sides 
by their enemies' forces, they should implore aid of the Al- 
mighty King of Heaven and of the Portuguese their friends, 
who were His devoted and religious servants : that so, pro- 
tected by the Portuguese and the Divine assistance, they might 
not only defend themselves, but also triumph over their enemies. 
For if they would yield themselves subjects to the Christian 
religion and to the Portuguese, they certainly would fight with 
all their forces for them, both from regard for religion, and be- 
cause they were now become their subjects, and would also, 
by the help of God, carry the whole business with as good 
success as valour. And having conquered and overthrown the 

Among the Paravas, 145 

Saracens, the deadly enemies of Christians, they might also 
perhaps give up the fishing of pearls (as taken from the Sara- 
cens by right of war) unto the Paravas, in respect they were 
become Christians, as a pledge of their religion.'^ It appears 
that the Mussulmans had before this seized on the pearl fish- 
eries, forcing the natives to work only for their profit. The 
advice of Joam de Cruz was taken, and the Patangatins who 
went as envoys to Cochin all received Baptism, and promised 
that their whole nation would do the same. The Portuguese 
accepted their terms, routed the Mussulman fleet, and gave 
the fisheries back to the Paravas. Some priests were also sent 
among them, the chief of whom was Miguel Vaz, the Bishop 
of Goa's Vicar, and the whole people was rapidly baptized.^ 

This wholesale conversion took place in 1532, ten years 
before the arrival of Francis in India. The work was not kept 
up in any way, and when St. Francis first heard of the Paravas 
from Miguel Vaz, who entreated him to go and evangelize 
them, ihey were entirely destitute of Priests, and very little 
seems to have been done after their first conversion to instruct 
them and maintain them in the faith. Francis found them 
ignorant of everything except that they were Christians. He 
left Goa late in the autumn of the year in which he arrived in 
India. We shall first give the letters in which he relates his 
mode of proceeding to St. Ignatius and his brothers at Rome, 
and then add what is known of his life at this period from 
other sources. 

1 Turselline, lib. ii. c. 5. 

2 Bartoli [Asia, t. i. lib. i. p. 49) tells us that the first Paravas Avho were 
baptized at Cochin were seventy in number. The Mussulmans, he adds, sent 
in alarm to Cochin to offer a large sum of money to the Portuguese, in hopes 
of buying them off, but the officer in command refused to traffic with the souls 
of the Paravas. After thti defeat of the Mussulmans as many as twenty thou- 
sand, the inhabitants of t^ irty villages, became Christians. 

VOL. X. 

14^ St. Francis Xavier. 

(xiii.) To the Reverend Father Ignatius^ General of 
the Society ^ at Rome, 

May the grace and charity of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

I wrote you a long letter from Goaabout our voyage from 
Portugal to India. Now, because such is your wish, my best 
and sweetest Father, I will give you a little account of my ex- 
pedition to Cape Comorin. 

I set out with several native students from the Seminary 
at Goa, who have been under instruction, ever since their early 
youth, in the ceremonies of the Church, and are now in minor 
orders. We went through all the villages of the converts who 
were made Christians a itw years ago. This country is too 
barren and poor for the Portuguese to live in, and the Chris- 
tian inhabitants here have had no priests ; they just know that 
they are Christians and nothing more. There is no one to 
say mass for them ; no one to teach them the Creed, the Pater, 
the Ave Maria, and the Ten Commandments of God. So I 
have been incessantly occupied ever since I came here. I 
went diligently through the villages one after another, and 
baptized all the children who had not yet been baptized. In 
this way I have christened a multitude of children who, as the 
saying is, did not know their right hand from their left. Then 
the young boys would never let me say office, or eat, or sleep, 
till I had taught them some prayer. It made me understand 
for the first time that ' of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.'-"* 
Their petition was too pious for me to refuse it without im- 
piety, so I began with the profession of belief in the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost,* and then taught them the Apostles' 
Creed, the Pater Noster, and the Ave Maria. I have found 
very great intelligence among them: and if they had any one 
to instruct them in religion, I doubt not they would turn out 
excellent Christians. 

3 Latin in the original : talium esse rcg/mm ccelorutn. 

* That is, the sign of the Cross, with the words which usimlly accompany it. 

Ajiiong the Paravas, 147 

One day I turned out of my road into a village of heathens, 
where no one was willing to become Christian, though all the 
neighbouring villages had been converted, because they said 
that the lord of their territory, a heathen, had forbidden his 
people to do so. There was there a woman with child, who 
had been three days in labour with so much difficulty, that 
many despaired of her life. Their prayers for her were not 
heard, for the prayer of the wicked is an abomination in the 
eyes of God, because the gods of the heathen are all devils.^ 
I went, with one of my companions, to the sick woman's house, 
and began with confidence to call upon the Name of the 
Lord,^ forgetting that I was in a strange land. I thought of that 
text, ' The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the com- 
pass of the world and all that dwell therein.'^ So I began, 
through an interpreter, to explain to her the articles of our 
religion ; and by the mercy of God, this woman believed what 
we taught her. At last I asked her whether she wished to be 
a Christian. She replied that she would, and gladly. Then I 
recited a Gospel over her — it was the first time, I suppose, 
that such words had been heard in those countries. I duly 
gave her Baptism. Not to make a long story, immediately 
after Baptism this good soul, who had put her hope in Christ,^ 
and believed, was delivered of her child ; and I afterwards bap- . 
tized her husband, his children, the infant (on the day of its 
birth), and all the family. The whole village was soon full 
of the news of the miracle which God had wrought in that 
house. I went to the chiefs and bade them in the Name of 
God to acknowledge His Son Jesus Christ, in Whom alone 
the salvation of all mortals is placed. They said they could 
not venture to leave the religion of their ancestors without the 
permission of their master. Then I went to the steward of 
this chief, who happened to be there to exact some taxes due 

5 qttonlam omnes dii gentkim d(emonla. (Orig.) 
s itivocare namen Domini. (Orig.) 

7 Domini est terra et plenitudo ejus, orbis terrarvm, et uttiversi qui habi- 
tant in eo. (Orig.) 

8 quce in Christo speravit ct credidit, (Orig. ) 

148 St. Irancis Xavkr, 

to his lord. When he had heard me speak about religion, he 
declared that he thought it a good thing to be a Christian, 
and that he gave leave to all who liked it to embrace the re- 
ligion of Jesus Christ. But though he gave this good advice 
to others he did not practise it himself. However, the chief 
people of the place, with their whole households, were the first 
to embrace the faith, the rest followed their example, and so 
all, of every class and every age, received Baptism. This work 
done, we went straight to Tuticorin. The people there re- 
ceived us very kindly, and we have begun to hope that we 
shall reap an abundant harvest of souls in these parts. 

The Governor is wonderfully fond of and kind to these 
converts, and not long ago gave them help against the Mus- 
sulmans who were annoying them. Most of them are fisher- 
men living on the coast, and supporting themselves and their 
families by the fishery, chiefly of pearls. The Mussulmans 
had lately carried off the barks which they use in this fishery. 
When the Governor heard this, he attacked the Mussulmans 
with a strong squadron, defeated them with great slaughter, 
and took away all their ships.9 He gave the richer converts 
their own barks back again, and made the poorer presents of 
the Mussulmans' boats, thus crowning his victory by a signal 
act of generosity. He himself had had experience of the as- 
sistance of God in his victory, and he wished to let the Chris- 

9 The Portuguese annals of India relate two expeditions of Martin Alfonso 
de Sousa, which may possibly have included this act of justice in favour of the 
Paravas, but the dates are not distinctly given. It was probably in 1542, the 
same year in which Francis Xavier first went among the Paravas, that the 
Governor with a large force went to Batecala, a city in the territory of Canara, 
'about 25 leagues from Goa' to the south (Baldasus), the queen of which was 
accused of refusing to pay her tribute and of harbouring pirates. The town 
was taken, and the Portuguese began to quarrel among themselves for the 
plunder. This encouraged the enemy, who put the Portuguese to flight, after 
which the Governor in revenge burnt the city and ' destroyed' the country. 
' The city ran with the blood of all living creatures of both sexes and all ages, 
before it was burnt, and the country was laid waste and all the woods cut down' 
(Faria y Sousa, t. ii. p. i. ch. xi.). Later on, and probably in 1543 or 1544, the 
Governor must have sailed along the Malabar and Fishery Coasts with a fleet of 
45 sail, with which he had intended to attack and plunder a famous Pagoda in 
the kingdom of Bisnaghur, not far from Meliapor, called Tremele. It is said 

Among the Paravas, 1 4 9 

tians experience his own great kindness in their turn. The 
Mussulmans are quite cast down, and in a state of prostration. 
Not a man amongst them dares raise his eyes. Every one of 
their chiefs has been slain, and indeed every one else among 
them who seemed to be at all powerful. On account of all 
this the converts love the Governor as a father, and he on his 
side looks on them as his children. I can hardly tell you how 
earnestly he commanded this newly planted vineyard of our 
Lord to my care. He has now got a grand plan in view which 
will be a matter for history to note as well as a great benefit to 
religion. He thinks of collecting all these native Christians 
who are now scattered at great distances from each other, of 
transplanting them to a certain island, and giving them a King 
to administer justice and look after their safety and interests. 
I am very sure that if the Holy Father only knew what great 
pains this Governor of India takes to advance religion, he 
would give him some mark of his approval for his very gre^t 
diligence and exertions in the holy cause. So, if you think 
good, you might manage that the Holy Father should write to 
him to tell him how much he is delighted with his services. I 
do not mean that he should commend the converts to his care, 
for no one can have that matter more at heart than he has 
already, but rather that he should praise and thank this very 

that this assault was ordered by the King of Portugal himself, in revenge for 
some ravages on territory friendly to him — it may be ravages such as those of 
the Badages, of whom we shall hear in the next chapter— but it is probable 
that the great richness of the heathen shrine was a part of the attraction. The 
attempt was abandoned, as the design was betrayed and discovered. Then, 
as Faria y Sousa tells us, the Governor was persuaded to plunder other pagodas 
instead of that which he had failed to surprize, and he actually despoiled a 
pagoda at Tebelicate near Calecoulan, which must have been in the territory 
of Travancore or one of the neighbouring kingdoms. A large sum of money 
taken from this pagoda was sent to Portugal, and afterwards restored by order 
of the King, who disapproved of the breach of faith. It is quite possible that 
in either of these expeditions Sousa may have taken the opportunity to humble 
the Mussulman oppressors of the Paravas in the way mentioned by St. Francis, 
and to do it would have cost him so little, as there is no mention of any Mus- 
sulman force on the spot, that it would hardly seem an exploit worthy of men- 
tion to the Portuguese annalists. 

50 St, Francis Xavier, 

religious ruler as he deserves to be praised and thanked for 
taking so much care of the interests of the faith, and for watch- 
ing so solicitously over the flock of Christ, lest any part of it 
be torn to pieces and destroyed by those wolves of heathen. 
And I would have you write to him yourself at all events, for 
I know how delightful your letter will be to him. And at the 
same time pray God for him, you and all the Society, that He 
may grant him His Divine assistance, and the grace of perse- 
verance in his good beginnings. For it is not he who has 
begun well, but he who shall persevere to the end, who will be 

As for myself, trusting in the infinite goodness of God and 
In your sacrifices and prayers as in those of all the Society, 
I hope that we shall see one another again, if not in this life, 
at least in that blessed life which is to come, whose joys far 
surpass all that we could have here. 

Your child in Christ, 


Tuticorin (in the Spring of 1543).!^ 

The next letter, which is much fuller in its account of the 
mission among the Paravas, seems to have been written at 
the end of the same year (1543), after St. Francis had taken 
Francis Mancias back with him from Goa to help him in the 

10 qui persroeraverit usque adfinem, hie salvus erit. (Orig.) 
1^ The date of this letter is differently given by the two authorities Turselline 
and Cutillas. It cannot have been written in October 1542, as Turselline 
states, as it is clear that the writer had been some months m the country— he 
says that he had spent four months in translating the Catechism, &c, — and Fran- 
cis Xavier did not probably leave -Goa before September 1542. Cutillas, who 
has altered a great many dates without giving his authority, gives for this 
date, May 23, 1543. He was a careful writer, and had many opportunities of 
ascertaining the truth, as there were several copies of the Letters, and in some 
cases, perhaps, the originals, at Madrid, where he wrote. In not giving his 
authority, as is now the custom, he only did what was usual in his time. If 
the letter was written towards the end of May, and the expedition of Martin 
Alfonso Sousa, mentioned in the last" note, may be fixed for the year 1543, it 
would be very natural for St. Francis, writing at Tuticorin, to mention any 
act of protection to the Paravas which had taken place. He tells us himself 
above (p. 141) that the mililary expeditions usually took place in the time of 

Among the Paravas. i r; i 

work. Francis probably had some occasion to go as far north 
as Cochin, whence the letter is dated. 

(xiv.) To the Society at Rome, 

May the grace and charity of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

It is now the third year since I left Portugal. I am writing 
to you for the third time, having as yet received only one letter 
from you, dated February 1542. God is my witness what joy 
it caused me. I only received it two months ago — later than 
is usual for letters to reach India, because the vessel which 
brought it had passed the winter at Mozambique. 

I and Francis Mancias are now living amongst the Chris- 
tians of Comorin. They are very numerous, and increase 
largely every day. When I first came I asked them, if they 
knew anything about our Lord Jesus Christ? but when I 
came to the points of faith in detail and asked them what they 
thought of them, and what more they believed now than when 
they were Infidels, they only replied that they were Christians, 
but that as they are ignorant of Portuguese, they know nothing 
of the precepts and mysteries of our holy religion. We could 
not understand one another, as I spoke Castilian and they 
Malabar ; so I picked out the most intelligent and well read 
of them, and then sought out with the greatest diligence men 
who knew both languages.. We held meetings for several 
days, and by our joint efforts and with infinite difficulty we 
translated the Catechism into the Malabar tongue. This I 
learnt by heart, and then I began to go through all the vil- 
lages of the coast, calling around me by the sound of a bell as 
many as I could, children and men. I assembled them twice 
a day and taught them the Christian doctrine : and thus, 
in the space of a month, the children had it well by heart. 
And all the time I kept telling them to go on teaching in their 
turn whatever they had learnt to their parents, family, and 

Every Sunday I collected them all, men and women, boys 

152 St. Francis Xavier. 

and girls, in the church. They came, with great readiness and 
with a great desire for instruction. Then, in the hearing of 
all, I began by calling on the name of the most holy Trinity, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and I recited aloud the Lord's 
Prayer, the Hai/ Mary, and the Creed in the language of the 
country: they all followed me in the same words, and de- 
lighted in it wonderfully. Then I repeated the Creed by my- 
self, dwelling upon each article singly. Then I asked them 
as to each article, whether they believed it unhesitatingly ; and 
all, with a loud voice and their hands crossed over their breasts, 
professed aloud that they truly believed it. I take care to make 
them repeat the Creed oftener than the other prayers ; and I 
tell them that those who beUeve all that is contained therein 
are called Christians. After explaining the Creed I go on to the 
Commandments, teaching them that the Christian law is con- 
tained in those ten precepts, and that every one who observes 
them all faithfully is a good and true Christian and is certain 
of eternal salvation, and that, on the other hand, whoever ne- 
glects a single ore of them is a bad Christian, and will be cast 
into hell unless he is truly penitent for his sin. Converts and 
heathen alike are astonished at all this, which shows them the 
holiness of the Christian law, its perfect consistency with itself, 
and its agreement with reason. After this I recite our prin- 
cipal prayers, as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and they 
say them after me. Then we go back to the Creed, adding 
the Our Father and the Hail Mary after each article, with a 
short hymn; for, as soon as I have recited the first article, I sing 
in their language, ^ Jesus, Son of the liviug God, grant us the grace 
to beUeve fir7nly this first article of your faith : and that we may 
obtain this from you, we offer you this prayer taught us by your- 
self^ Then we add this second invocation : ' Holy Mary^ 
Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for us from your most 
sweet Son that we may believe without hesitation this article of 
the Christian faitlu We do the same after all the other eleven 

We teach them the Commandments in the following way. 
After we have sung the first, which enjoins the love of God, 

Among the Paravas, 153 

we pray thus : ^ Jesus Christ, Sou of the living God, grant us the 
grace to love Thee above all things ; and then we say for this in- 
tention the Lord's Prayer. Then we all sing together, ' Holy 
Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, ohtai7ifor us from your Son the 
grace to observe perfectly the first of His Commandments ; and 
then we say the Hail Mary. So we go on through the other 
nine, changing the words of our little invocation as occasion 
requires. Thus I accustom them to ask for these graces with 
the ordinary prayers of the Church, and I tell them at the 
same time that if they obtain them, they will have all other 
things that they can wish for more abundantly than they would 
be able to ask for them. I make them all, and particularly 
those who are to be baptized, repeat the form of general con- 
fession. These last I question after each article of the Creed 
as it is recited, whether they believe it firmly ; and after they 
have answered yes, I give them an instruction in their own 
language explaining the chief heads of the Christian religion, 
and the duties necessary to salvation. Last of all, I admit 
them thus prepared to baptism. The instruction is ended by 
the Salve Regina, begging the aid and help of our Blessed Lady. 

As to the numbers who become Christians, you may under- 
stand them from this, that it often happens to me to be hardly 
able to use my hands from the fatigue of baptizing : often in a 
single day I have baptized whole villages. Sometimes I have 
lost my voice and strength altogether with repeating again and 
again the Credo and the other forms. 

The fruit that is reaped by the baptism of infants, as well 
as by the instruction of children and others, is quite incredible. 
These children, I trust heartily, by the grace of God, will be 
much better than their fathers. They show an ardent love for 
the Divine law, and an extraordinary zeal for learning our holy 
religion and imparting it to others. Their hatred for idolatry 
is marvellous. They get into feuds with the heathen about it, 
and whenever their own parents practise it, they reproach them 
and come off to tell me at once. Whenever I hear of any act of 
idolatrous worship, I go to the place with a large band of these 
children, who very soon load the devil with a greater amount 

154 ^^' Francis Xavier, 

of insult and abuse than he has lately received of honour and 
worship from their parents, relations, and acquaintances. The 
children run at the idols, upset them, dash them down, break 
them to pieces, spit on them, trample on them, kick them 
about, and in short heap on them every possible outrage. 

I had been living for nearly four months in a Christian 
village, occupied in translating the Catechism. A great number 
of natives came from all parts to entreat me to take the trouble 
to go to their houses and call on God by the bedsides of their 
sick relatives. Such numbers also of sick made their own way 
to us, that I had enough to do to read a GospeP^ over each of 
them. At the same time we kept on with our daily work, in- 
structing the children, baptizing converts, translating the Cate- 
chism, answering difficulties, and burying the dead. For my 
part I desired to satisfy all, both the sick who came to me 
themselves, and those who came to beg on the part of others, 
lest if I did not, their confidence in, and zeal for, our holy reli- 
gion should relax, and I thought it wrong not to do what I 
could in answer to their prayers. But the thing grew to such 
a pitch that it was impossible for me myself to satisfy all, and 
at the same time to avoid their quarrelling among themselves, 
every one striving to be the first to get me to his own house ; 
so I hit on a way of serving all at once. As I could not go 
myself, I sent round children whom I could trust in my place. 
Tliuey went to the sick persons, assembled their families and 
neighbours, recited the Creed with them, and encouraged the 
sufferers to conceive a certain and wellfounded confidence of 
their restoration. Then after all this, they recited the prayers 
of the Church. To make my tale short, God was moved by 

12 « to read a Gospel,' i.e. a passage from the Gospel, usually the passage 
from the first chapter of St. John, which is read at the end of mass (St. John i. 
1-14). This it was and is customary to read over the sick, as a profession of 
faith in the Incarnation. Another custom of the same kind is the carrying 
about the person a copy of this passage of the Gospel, in the same way as an 
Agnus Dei or a scapular. The Ritual for the Visitation of the Sick contains 
a number of such portions of the Gospel, interspersed with appropriate prayers, 
which may be read over the sick ; and St. Francis may probably mean any one 
of these when he speaks of ' a Gospel' in the text. 

Among the Paravas, 155 

the faith and piety of these children and of the others, and re- 
stored to a great number of sick persons health both of body 
and soul. How good He was to them ! He made the very 
disease of their bodies the occasion of calling them to salva- 
tion, and drew them to the Christian faith almost by force ! 

I have also charged these children to teach the rudiments 
of Christian doctrine to the ignorant in private houses, in the 
streets, and the crossways. As soon as I see that this has been 
well started in one village, I go on to another and give the 
same instructions and the same commission to the children, and 
so I go through in order the whole number of their villages. 
When I have done this and am going away, I leave in each 
place a copy of the Christian doctrine, and tell ail those who 
know how to write to copy it out, and all the others are to learn 
it by heart and to recite it from memory every day. Every 
feast day I bid them meet in one place and sing all together the 
elements of the faith. For this purpose I have appointed in 
each of the thirty Christian villages men of intelligence and 
character who are to preside over these meetings, and the 
Governor, Don Martin Alfonso, who is so full of love for our 
Society and of zeal for religion, has been good enough at our 
request to allot a yearly revenue of 4000 gold fanams for the 
salary of these catechists. He has an immense friendship for 
ours, and desires with all his heart that some of them should 
be sent hither, for which he is always asking in his letters to 
the King. 

There is now in these parts a very large number of persons 
who have only one reason for not becoming Christian, and 
that is that there is no one to make them Christians. It often 
comes into my mind to go round all the Universities of Europe, 
and especially that of Paris, crying out every where like a' 
madman, and saying to all the learned men there whose learn- 
ing is so much greater than their charity, ' Ah ! what a miilti' 
iude of souls is through your fault shut out of heaven and fall'uig 
into hell F^^ Would to God that these men who labour so much 

13 In Latin in the original : Heti, guam ingais animorum numerus vcstro 
vitio exclusus ccelo deturbatur ad inferos ! 

1^6 St. Francis Xavier, 

in gaming knowledge would give as much thought to the ac- 
count they must one day give to God of the use they have 
made of their learning and of the talents entrusted to them ! 
I am sure that many of them would be moved by such con- 
siderations, would exercise themselves in fitting meditations on 
Divine truths, so as to hear what God might say to them,^-* and 
then, renouncing their ambitions and desires, and all the things 
of the world, they would form themselves wholly according to 
God's desire and choice for them. They would exclaim from 
the bottom of their hearts : ^ Lord^ here am I ; send jue whither- 
soever it shall please Thee, even to India /'^-^ Good God ! how 
much happier and how much safer they would be ! With what 
far greater confidence in God's mercy would they meet their 
last hour, the supreme trial of that terrible judgment which no 
man can escape ! They would then be able joyfully to use the 
words of the faithful servant in the Gospel : ' Lord, Thou gavesf 
me five talents; behold, I have gained beside them other five f^^^ 
They labour night and day in acquiring knowledge, and they are 
very diligent indeed in understanding the subjects which they 
study ; but if they would spend as much time in that which is 
the fruit of all solid learning, and be as diligent in teaching to 
the ignorant the things necessary to salvation, they would be 
far better prepared to give an account of themselves to our Lord 
when He shall say to them : ' Give an account of thy steiuard- 
ship.'^"^ I fear much that these men, who spend so many years 
in the Universities in studying the liberal arts, look more to the 
empty honours and dignities of the prelature than to the holy 
functions and obligations of which those honours are the trap- 
pings. It has come to this pass, as I see, that the men who 
are the most diligent in the higher branches of study, commonly 
make profession that they hope to gain some high post in the 
Church by their reputation for learning, therein to be able to 
serve our Lord and His Church. But all the time they deceive 

1^ ut audirent quid in eis loqueretur Domimis. (Orig.) 
^^ Doinine, ecce adsum ; mitte me quocunque tibi cordi est, vel usque in 
Indiam, (Orig.) 

16 St. Matt. XXV. 2o. 17 RecderationemvilUcationistucB. (Orig.) 

Among the Paravas, 157 

themselves miserably, for their studies are far more directed 
to their own advantage than to the common good. They are 
afraid that God may not second their ambition, and this is 
the reason why they will not leave the whole matter to His 
holy will. I declare to God that I had almost made up my 
mind, since I could not return to Europe myself, to write to 
the University of Paris, and especially to our worthy Professors 
Cornet and Picard, and to show them how many thousands of 
infidels might be made Christians without trouble, if we had 
only men here who would seek, not their own advantage, but 
the things of Jesus Christ. And therefore, dearest brothers, 
' pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send forth labourers 
into His harvest.'^^ 

I wrote to you a year ago about the College which has 
been begun at Goa, and which is being built with dispatch. A 
considerable part of the building is already finished. A great 
number of pagan youths of different nations are taught there. 
Some learn Latin, others to read and write. Father Paul is 
their Superior as Rector of the College. He says mass for 
them every day, hears their confessions, and gives them reli- 
gious instruction continually. The College is very large, it 
will hold as many as five hundred students, and has revenues 
enough for their support. Great sums of money are given to 
it as alms by many persons, and especially by the Governor. 
And well indeed may all Christians give thanks to God for 
this seminary, which is called the College of Santa Fe : for we 
hope that within a few years multitudes of heathens will by 
God's favour have become Christians, and that the pupils of 
this College will shortly be the means of extending the limits 
of the Church far and wide in the whole East. 

We have in these parts a class of men among the pagans 
who are called Brahmins. They keep up the worship of the 
gods, the superstitious rites of religion, frequenting the temples 
and taking care of the idols. They are as perverse and wicked 
a set as can anywhere be found, and I always apply to them 
the words of holy David, ^from an tmJioly race and a wickea 

18 orate Dominum viessis itt miitat operarlos in inessem suajn, (Orig.) 

15^ St. Francis Xavier, 

and crafty man deliver me^ O Lord.'''^^ They are liars and cheats 
to the very backbone. Their whole study is, how to deceive 
most cunningly the simplicity and ignorance of the people. 
They give out publicly that the gods command certain offer- 
ings to be made to their temples, which offerings are simply 
the things that the Brahmins themselves wish for, for their own 
maintenance and that of their wives, children, and servants. 
Thus they make the poor folk believe that the images of their 
gods eat and drink, dine and sup like men, and some devout 
persons are found who really offer to the idol twice a day, be- 
fore dinner and supper, a certain sum of money. The Brahmins 
eat sumptuous meals to the sound of drums, and make the 
ignorant believe that the gods are banqueting. When they are 
in need of any supplies, and even before, they give out to the 
people that the gods are angry because the things they have 
asked for have not been sent, and that if the people do not 
take care, the gods will punish them by slaughter, disease, and 
the assaults of the devils. And the poor ignorant creatures, 
with the fear of the gods before them, obey them implicitly. 
These Brahmins have barely a tincture of literature, but they 
make up for their poverty in learning by cunning and malice. 
Those who belong to these parts are very indignant with me 
for exposing their tricks. Whenever they talk to me with no 
one by to hear them they acknowledge that they have no other 
patrimony but the idols, by their lies about which they procure 
their support from the people. They say that I, poor crea- 
ture as I am, know more than all of them put together. They 
often send me a civil message and presents, and make a great 
complaint when I send them all back again. Their object is 
to bribe me to connive at their evil deeds. So they declare 
that they are convinced that there is only one God, and that 
they will pray to Him for me. And I, to return the favour, 
answer whatever occurs to me, and then lay bare, as far as 
I can, to the ignorant people whose blind superstitions have 
made them their slaves, their imposture and tricks, and this 
has induced many to leave the worship of the false gods, and 

19 Psalm xlii. i. 

Among the Paravas, 159 

eagerly become Christians. If it were not for the opposition 
of the Brahmins, we should have them all embracing the reli- 
gion of Jesus Christ. 

The heathen inhabitants of the country are commonly 
ignorant of letters, but by no means ignorant of wickedness. 
All the time I have been here in this country I have only con- 
verted one Brahmin, a virtuous young man, who has now un- 
dertaken to teach the Catechism to children. As I go through 
the Christian villages, I often pass by the temples of the Brah- 
mins, which they call pagodas. One day lately, I happened 
to enter a pagoda where there were about two hundred of 
them, and most of them came to meet. me. We had a long 
conversation, after which I asked them what their gods enjoined 
them in order to obtain the life of the blessed. There was a 
long discussion amongst them as to who should answer me. 
At last, by common consent, the commission was given to one 
of them, of greater age and experience than the rest, an old 
man, of more than eighty years. He asked me in return, what 
commands the God of the Christians laid on them. I saw the 
old man's perversity, and I refused to speak a word till he had 
first answered my question. So he was obliged to expose his 
ignorance, and replied that their gods required two duties of 
those who desired to go to them hereafter, one of which was 
to abstain from killing cows, because under that form the gods 
were adored; the other was to show kindness to the Brahmins, 
who were the worshippers of the gods.^o This answer moved 
my indignation, for I could not but grieve intensely at the 
thought of the devils being worshipped instead of God by 
these blind heathen, and I asked them to listen to me in turn. 
Then I, in a loud voice, repeated the Apostles' Creed and the 
Ten Commandments. After this I gave in their own lan- 
guage a short explanation, and told them what Paradise is, and 
what Hell is, and also who they are who go to Heaven to join 
the company of the blessed, and who are to be sent to the 
eternal punishments of hell. Upon hearing these things they 

20 frimum, ut ahstinerent ccede vaccarum, quarum specie dii colerentur ; 
deinde, vt Brachmanis deorum cultoribus ben igne facer ent. (Orig.) 

i6o Sf, Francis Xavicr. 

all rose up and vied with one another in embracing me, and 
in confessing that the God of the Christians is the true God, 
as His laws are so agreeable to reason. Then they asked me 
if the souls of men like those of other animals perished to- 
gether with the body.21 God put into my mouth arguments of 
such a sort, and so suited to their ways of thinking, that to 
their great joy I was able to prove to them the immortality 
of the soul. I find, by the way, that the arguments which are 
to convince these ignorant people must by no means be subtle, 
such as those which are found in the books of learned school- 
men, but must be such as their minds can understand. They 
asked me again how the soul of a dying person goes out of the 
body, how it was, whether it was as happens to us in dreams, 
when we seem to be conversing with our friends and acquaint- 
ance ? (Ah, how often this happens to me, dearest brothers, 
when I am dreaming of you !) Was this because the soul then 
leaves the body ? And again, whether God was black or white ?"^ 
For as there is so great a variety of colour among men, and 
the Indians being black themselves, consider their own colour 
the best, they believe that their gods are black. On this ac- 
count the great majority of their idols are as black as black 
can be, and moreover are generally so rubbed over with oil as 
to smell detestably, and seem to be as dirty as they are ugly 
and horrible to look at. To all these questions I was able to 
reply so as to satisfy them entirely. But when I came to the 
point at last, and urged them to embrace the religion which 
they felt to be true, they made that same objection which we 
hear from many Christians when urged to change their life, 
— that they would set men talking about them if they altered 
their ways and their religion, and besides, they said that they 
should be afraid that, if they did so, they would have nothing 
to live on and support themselves by. 

21 num animus hominum, iteni ut cccterorum anivtafttitim, simul cum cor* 
pore interisset. (Orig.) 

22 qua morientis animus exiret ? qui fieret ? ut in somnis cum aviicis fiotis- 
que versari nobis videamur ? nuvi quia animus cxiliat a corpore f denique, 
albusne a?i ater sit Dcus f (Orig.) 

Among the Paravas, i6i 

I have found just one Brahmin and no more in all this 
coast who is a man of learning : he is said to have studied in 
a very famous Academy. Knowing this, I took measures to 
converse with him alone. He then told me at last, as a great 
secret, that the students of this Academy are at the outset made 
by their masters to take an oath not to reveal their mysteries,^^ 
but that, out of friendship for me, he would disclose them to 
me. One of these mysteries was that there only exists one 
God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth, whom men are 
bound to worship, for the idols are simply images of devils.^-* 
The Brahmins have certain books of sacred literature which 
contain, as they say, the laws of God. The masters teach in 
a learned tongue, as we do in Latin. He also explained to 
me these divine precepts one by one ; but it would be a long 
business to write out his commentary, and indeed not worth 
the trouble. Their sages keep as a feast our Sunday. On this 
day they repeat at different hours this one prayer : ' I adore 
Thee, O God ; and I implore Thy help for ever.'^s They are 
bound by oath to repeat this prayer frequently, and in a low 
voice. My friend added, that the law of nature permitted 
them to have more wives than one, and their sacred books 
predicted that the time would come when all men should em- 
brace the same religion.-^ After all this he asked me in my 
turn to explain the principal mysteries of the Christian religion, 
promising to keep them secret. I replied, that I would not 
tell him a word about them unless he promised beforehand to 
publish abroad what I should tell him of the religion of Jesus 
Christ. He made the promise, and then I carefully explained 
to him those words of Jesus Christ in which our religion is 

-3 primum omnhim illhisAcademice discipulos a magistris adigi sacramento, 
ne ipsorum mysteria enuncient, (Orig.) 

2-1 unum esse Dezim, cceli terrceque conditorem ac do7ninum, illumque ab 
ipsis coli oportere; nam idola nihil aliud esse quam dcetnonum simulacra. 

25 Veneror te, Deus, tuamque opem in perpetuum imploro. (Orig.) 

26 uxorum multitudinem tpsis naturcB lege permitti ; atque in ^uis litte- 
rarum monume?iiis esse, tempus aliq7<andofore, cum mortales omnes utiam re- 
ligionem amplccterentur. (Orig.) 

VOL. I. M 

1 62 6V. Francis Xavier. 

summed up: *He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.'^r 
This text, with my commentary on it, which embraced the 
whole of the Apostles' Creed, he wrote down carefully, as well 
as the Commandments, on account of their close connection 
with the Creed. He told me also that one night he had dreamt 
that he had been made a Christian to his immense delight, and 
that he had become my brother and companion. He ended 
by begging me to make him a Christian secretly. But as he 
made certain conditions opposed to right and Justice, I put off 
his baptism. I don't doubt but that by God's mercy he will 
one day be a Christian. I charged him to teach the ignorant 
and unlearned that there is only one God, Creator of heaven 
and earth f^ but he pleaded the obligation of his oath, and 
said he could not do so, especially as he was m.uch afraid that 
if he did it he should become possessed by an evil spirit. 

And now I have nothing more to tell you except that so 
great is the intensity and abundance of the joy which God is 
accustomed to bestow upon those workmen of His vineyard 
who labour diligently in cultivating this barbarous part of the 
same, that for my part I do really believe that if there is in this 
life any true and solid happiness, it is here. It often happens 
to me to hear one whose lot it is to labour in this field cry out, 
'O Lord, I beseech Thee overwhelm me not 7iow in this life with 
so much delight, or at least, since in Thy boundless goodness and 
mercy Thou dost so overwhelm me, take me away to the abode of 
the blessed. For any one who has once known what it is to taste 
in his soul Thy i7ieffable sweetness must of necessity tJmik it very 
bitter to live any lojiger without seeing Thee face to face? -'^ 

It is one of my greatest consolations, dearest brethren, to 
think often of you, and to call to mind that sweet and tender 
intercourse with you which God of His immense* goodness 
vouchsafed to me of old. At the same time it makes me think 

27 Qui crediderit et haptizatus fuerit salvus erit. (Orig.) 

23 unum esse Deum, cxli terrceqtte procreatorem, rcgnafitem in cash. (Orig'.) 

23 QucBsote, Doviine, noli me tanta IcBtitia perfundere in hoc vita, aut certe 

quando pro tua iufinita bonitate ac niisericordia perfu7idis, transfer me in do- 

micilium beatorum. Siquidem, qui tuam se7)icl dulccdinem interiore gustavit 

sensu. vitam sine itio aspectu acerbam putct, necesse est. (Orig.) 

Among the Paravas, 163 

over and feel very keenly, how much precious time I then 
spent uselessly, and gathered so little fruit from your holy ex- 
ample and conversation, and from your knowledge of the 
things of God. However, I owe it to your prayers for me that 
God has given me the blessing, absent as I am from you in 
the body, of having, by means of your care and intercession 
for me, the infinite number of my sins shown to me from God, 
and of having courage and strength given me to cultivate with 
all diligence the soil of heathendom. Endless thanks to God's 
goodness, and to your charity ! 

Among the many great blessings of my life past and pre- 
sent, and for which I have to thank the mercy of God, I count 
it as the greatest that I have heard the tidings of the approba- 
tion and confirmation of our Institute by the Holy Father. I 
give God endless thanks ^hat He has now at last ordained to 
be publicly ratified by His Vicar, so as to be remembered by 
posterity for ever, that same rule of life which He Himself laid 
down in secret to His servant our Father Ignatius. 

Here, then, I will leave off writing, begging of God that 
since in His goodness He has united us in a common way of 
life, and then has separated us so widely for the good of the 
Christian religion, so also He will be pleased to bring us toge- 
ther again in the abode and home of the Blessed. That He 
may grant us this grace, let us, if you will, plead the prayers, 
among others, of the infants and children whom I have bap- 
tized with my own hand, here, and whom God has called away 
to His mansions in heaven before they had lost their robe of 
innocence. They are, I think, more than a thousand in num- 
ber, and I pray to them over and over again, begging that they 
will obtain for us from God that for what remains of this life, 
or rather of this time of exile, He will teach us to do His will, 
and to do it so completely as to accomplish all that He re- 
quires of us exactly as He Himself desires it to be done. 
„ ,. , . ^ Francis. 

From Cochin, Dec. 31, 1543. 

These two letters are all that remain to us from St; Francis 
himself as to what we may call the first period of his preaching 

164 St. Francis Xavicr, 

among the native Indians. It appears that at first he had no 
one with him but the young students from the College of St. 
Paul or Santa Fe as his companions : Mancias and Father Paul 
of Camerino had not arrived from Mozambique at the time of 
his sailing for Tuticorin. He must probably have returned to 
Goa after some months among the Paravas, during which visit 
he might have written, at the request of the Governor, the 
letters given in the last chapter concerning the indulgences and 
other spiritual favours to be asked for from the Holy Father. 
He then returned to the Fishery Coast, taking with him Man- 
cias, and leaving Father Paul of Camerino as Superior at the 
College. As the very interesting series of letters to Mancias 
which we shall have to give in the next chapter does not begin 
till the March of 1544, we must suppose that up to that time 
Mancias was his companion, and was being trained up foi 
work by himself. He was not as yet a priest. The lives of 
St. Francis, which, as has been said, are derived from the pro- 
cesses taken in India and elsewhere with a view to his canoniza- 
tion, — processes which were begun almost as soon as his death 
was known in Europe, — now become our guides, giving us a 
great amount of information supplementary to that which the 
letters disclose either openly or by implication. A careful con- 
sideration indeed of the letters, if it be enlightened by a know- 
ledge of the manner in which the chosen servants of God who 
are called to the Apostolic ministry are assisted by Him on the 
one hand, and are wont to imitate our Lord in casting a veil 
over their own great gifts on the other, will prove to us that 
there is hardly a single feature, however marvellous, in the nar- 
ratives of other writers concerning this period of the life of St. 
Francis, which may not be traced in some way or degree in his 
own account of his proceedings given to his brethren at Rome 
and St. Ignatius, his father and Superior. The whole picture, 
when duly combined, gives us a very clear insight indeed into 
the conditions under which his ministry was carried on, and 
enables us to understand his marvellous success. 

It must always be borne in mind that the natives to whom 
St. Francis was originally sent, the pearlfishers of the Comorin 

Atnong the Paravas, 165 

coast, were already nominally Christians. They had, as we 
have said, been baptized and very partially instructed some 
years before by Miguel Vaz and others ; but the hardships and 
dangers of a hfe among them in a part of the country which 
was very poor and unhealthy, and where there were no Portu- 
guese settlements or garrisons — except, it would seem, at Tuti- 
corin and one or two other places — were too great for the cour- 
age of the ordinary Portuguese priests, who besides had plenty 
of occupation among their own countrymen in the garrisoned 
cities and forts along the coast. The work was preeminently 
a work which called for an Apostle, a man who would combine 
the heroic selfdevotion which was required for the full instruc- 
tion of these poor natives, with the organizing power necessary 
for the establishment of a perfect system of religious teaching 
and administration of the sacraments among them, in so much 
completeness and fulness of growth as to stand by itself after 
he had left the spot for other fields of labour. 

The beginnings, as the letters inform us, were toilsome and 
slow. The circumstances under which the Paravas had em- 
braced Christianity naturally directed the attention of Francis 
Xavier to the children, in the first instance, as the best hopes 
for the future, and it was his principle, as we have seen in his 
work at Goa, to attach immense importance to elementary in- 
struction, catechizing, and the like. His first occupation, how- 
ever, was the simple act of charity to go about and baptize the 
infants who were as yet unbaptized; and to this, and to the care 
of the sick, the dying, and the dead, we find him afterwards 
recurring when he found himself from time to time unable to 
communicate with the people around him on account of ignor- 
ance of their language. Then came the great labour of trans- 
lating the Catechism into the Malabar tongue, which he tells 
us occupied him and his catechists for as much as four months. 
The next step was to learn the new Catechism by heart, and 
to go from one village to another teaching the simple elements 
of Christian doctrine in the native language. We may wiell 
magine with what bright affectionateness and gentle conde- 
scension the Saint made his way to the hearts of the swarms of 

1 66 St. Francis Xavier, 

Indian children who gathered around him, who soon began to 
take so important a share in his missionary work, and whose 
prayers he constantly solicited when about to incur any extra- 
ordinary danger. After a little time, as he tells St. Ignatius, 
the children would not leave him alone ; he had no time 
after his daily rounds and course of teaching to say his office, 
take his slight repast of rice and water, or the scanty rest which 
he allowed himself ^^ They were never tired of learning prayers 
from his mouth. His evenings were also devoted to receiving 
visits of persons who had any questions to ask him or wished 
to consult him, and it was then too that he attended to such 
matters as bringing about reconciliations or rectifying irregular 

The account given in the letters which we have last in- 
serted of his method of catechizing tallies exactly with a paper 
drawn up by him for the instruction of the catechists of the 
Society in India, which was long preserved in the archives of 
the College at Goa. The catechist is to begin with the sign of 
the Cross, and two boys are to repeat in a loud clear voice the 
jPaf^r Noster (in the native language) after him. Then he is to 
invite the people to profess their faith and make acts of the 
three great theological virtues — Faith, Hope, and Charity. The 
exercise of faith consists in the Credo, which is to be gone 
through, the people being asked whether they firmly believe 
each truth, and then praying to our Lord and His Blessed 

30 The Processes relate that St, Francis was in the habit of abstaining not 
only from flesh and wine, but even from wheaten bread, except when he was 
being entertained by others. (For this they quote the witnesses examined on 
oath at Goa and Bazain.) The same witnesses testify that he used to manage 
that what food he took was not well prepared — ' insulse conditus.' He took 
food only once a day, and made no difference whether he was journeying or 
not. He usually went on foot, and without shoes, living only on roasted rice, 
which he begged as he went on. These facts are stated on the evidence taken 
at Cochin and Bazain. Massei tells us (also from the Processes) that on certain 
feasts he would have a cake made of rice, and exhort his companions to thank 
God for such delicacies, and take what was necessary to support them in their 
labours for souls. He seldom slept more than four hours, giving the rest of 
the night to prayer or to visiting the sick, and he slept on the ground with a 
stone under his head. These facts all rest on the same authority. 

Among the Faravas. 167 

Mother to give and obtain for them the grace to do so, recit- 
ing the Pater Noster and Ave Maria. In the paper just men- 
tioned the Credo is summarized, rather than simply repeated 
article by article, the truths about our Lord and the Incarna- 
tion \)€m<^ grouped together, and at the end, after the people 
had professed their belief in the existence of Hell, Paradise, 
Purgatory, the sacraments, and all that is taught by the 
Church, the catechist instructs them to pray to the Holy 
Ghost for His seven gifts, those especially which can help 
them to believe the Catholic faith. Then follow an act of 
hope and an act of love and contrition. After this preliminary 
service, the catechist is to proceed to the explanation of some 
particular truth, or of some virtue, or one of the sacraments, 
or the doctrine of prayer, and the like, speaking very plainly 
and simply, and adding an ' example,' or story, at the end to 
illustrate the argument. Then he is to recite with the boys 
the form of general confession, bidding the people meantime 
make interior acts of contrition or sorrow for sin for the love of 
God, then three Ave Marias are to be recited, one for the 
absent, the others for any particular intention. 

There can be no doubt that this paper, which is printed 
among the Letters of St. Francis Xavier by Poussines and 
Menchacha, represents to us quite faithfully the Saint's way of 
proceeding at those meetings of the converts. Perhaps when 
he or any other priest was present the conclusion would be 
different. The form is drawn up for the use of meetings in 
which the catechist was a layman. He tells us himself that 
he had appointed some one in each village to look after the 
further instruction and catechizing, and had obtained an allow- 
ance from the Governor for the payment of these persons. It 
was his method, as we shall see from his letters to Mancias, 
to be liberal to these schoolmasters or catechists, to pay them 
a part of their salary in advance, to encourage them in every 
way, at the same time letting them feel that they were care- 
fully watched and must be on their guard not to fail in their 
duty. They were to baptize newborn infants, publish mar- 
riages, preside at the prayers, and perform other offices of the 

1 68 St, Francis Xavier. 

same kind. The four thousand /^;/<2otj" which St. Francis tells 
us were allotted by the Governor for the payment of these cate- 
chists or Canacapoli, as we find them called, seem to have 
been taken out of a sum paid out of the revenues of India for 
the expenses of the wardrobe of the Queen of Portugal, and 
was supposed to keep her Highness in slippers. Francis wrote 
to her to say that the prayers of the poor Paravas would be 
the best sort of slippers for her to mount up to Paradise in.-''^ 

Francis tells us in the letter to his brethren at Rome, that 
he left a copy of the Christia7i Doctrine^ or Catechism, in each 
of the villages when he departed, which was to be copied out 
and frequently recited. This may perhaps mean only the form 
of which we have been lately speaking. But we possess a 
rather long explanation of the Apostles' Creed, which he com- 
posed two or three years later for the people of the Moluccas, 
and if this was not the identical statement of Doctrine which 
he used when among the Paravas, it is at all events a fair 
specimen of his teaching under this head, and probably differs 
from what he may have drawn up on the Fishery Coast only 
in being somewhat more elaborate. In this document he goes 
through the whole Creed, giving a full doctrinal and historical 
commentary, which is pointed, as it were, at the errors most 
likely to beset those for whose benefit it was made. Thus he 
begins with the Creation, and he points out how the fact that 

31 M. L^on-Pagds [Lettres de S. Francois Xavier, t. i. p. 83) tells us that the 
fanais, fanes, or fanams were the Indian gold coins, much alloyed, equal in 
value to 12 reals (about halfacrown). Four thousand of these would make 500/. 
sterling, a very large sum for the sixteenth century. We are almost inclined to 
suspect that Turselline's statement is right ; he makes the money four hundred 
crowns. It is also not quite certain that there were not two allowances : one 
by the Governor, a gift of a certain sum, and another, a continuation of the 
same gift as an annual contribution from the Queen. Turselline says, ' This 
said money was accustomed to be paid to Queen Catharine of Portugal, to 
buy her shoes and pantofles. Wherefore Francis wrote unto her Majesty, very 
pleasantly and piously, that she could have no fitter shoes or pantofles to climb 
to heaven than the Christian children of the Piscarian coast, and their instruc- 
tions. Therefore he humbly entreated her to bestow her shoes and pantofles, as 
a tribute, unto their teachers and instructors, thereby to make herself a ladder 
to heaven, for she might be glad of such an occasion, than the which she could 
not perhaps have wished a better' (L. ii. c, 8, p. 140). 

Among the Paravas. i Sg 

God gave one wife to Adam shows the unlawfulness of poly- 
gamy, as well as of that miserable system of concubinage in 
which so many Christians in those countries indulged. He 
also speaks strongly in the same place against idolatry, super- 
stition, dealing with the devil, and suchlike evils. Each article 
of the Creed is attributed by him to one of the Apostles, the 
first to St. Peter, the second to St. Andrew, and so on in 
order, according to an old tradition of which many traces re- 
main to us. The fall of the Angels. and the seduction of man 
are related immediately after the first article. The actual ac- 
complishment of the Incarnation in the fulness of time is attri- 
buted immediately to the prayer made by St. Michael and the 
holy Angels who had remained faithful to God when Lucifer 
and his companions fell. After the article in which the birth 
of our Lord is spoken of, a tolerably full account of His life is 
given as an introduction to the Passion. After this St. Francis 
gives a short description of Limbus, Purgatory, and Hell, be- 
fore speaking of the descent of our Lord. The mystery of 
the most holy Trinity is shortly explained before the article 
on the Holy Ghost, in connection with the sign of the Cross. 
The sacraments are spoken of under the head of the Com- 
munion of Saints and the Remission of sins. 

These documents, when put by the side of what we know 
of the laborious manner in which St. Francis devoted himself 
to catechetical instruction everywhere, and especially whenever 
he found himself among people so ignorant and simple as the 
Paravas of the Fishery Coast, enable us to understand what 
we- are told by missionaries of a later date with respect to the 
thorough knowledge of the Catholic faith which these Chris- 
tians were found to possess, as if its doctrines had been en- 
grained in their minds. But they do not explain to us, nor 
does anything that St. Francis Xavier himself tells us explain to 
us, other facts such as those which are hinted at in the longer 
of the two letters now before us, as to the immense crowds 
which came to place themselves under instruction and to re- 
ceive baptism, or as to the extent to which he was besieged 
by requests to go to visit and pray over the sick. It is clear 

170 St, Francis Xavier. 

from his own account that his ministry was by no means 
limited to the instruction of the Paravas who had already re- 
ceived baptism, and of their children. Thousand's of heathen 
were baptized, and the presence of the Father was required on 
all sides. What was the attraction that brought so many to 
his feet? What was it that made them so ready to believe 
that his prayers and blessing could benefit the sick, and so 
eager to fetch him to the bedside of any of their own relatives 
who were in danger of death ? His own words to St. Ignatius, 
in that private and familiar letter which seems to have been 
meant for him alone, his 'best and sweetest Father,' partly 
lift the veil, for he there speaks of the miracle wrought upon 
the heathen woman, who was so safely delivered of her child 
immediately after baptism, in language the purport of which 
can hardly be mistaken. He could write to his own intimate 
friend and guide of such a miracle, because it was so closely 
connected with the administration of the Sacrament of rege- 
neration, and he could attribute it, as our Lord attributed 
His own miracles, to the faith of the person on whom it was 
wrought : but, we need hardly add, it would surprize us quite 
as much to find him giving in other and more public letters, or 
even in this, a long catalogue of miracles which had attended 
and confirmed his preaching, however true the facts might 
have been, quite as much as it would surprize us to be told 
that multitudes of persons of various nations flocked to his 
preaching and believed him to be a teacher sent from God, 
who had power to heal the maladies of the body as well as 
to enlighten the soul, without having had some tangible ground 
for supposing that this beUef was true. 

There is, in fact, every fair reason for believing that the 
life of Francis Xavier began at this time to be adorned by that 
very frequent and splendid exercise of the gift of miracles 
which is from time to time imparted to the Saints, especially 
to those who have the Apostolical mission. None of the great 
Saints of God are probably left altogether without gifts of this 
kind, but they seem to be especially frequent, as, so far as we 
can judge of such questions, they are also especially natural, 

j^mong the Paravas. 1 7 1 

in the case of great Apostolic preachers, and this not only 
among the heathen. Few lives contain more illustrious ex- 
amples of this great gift than those of St. Bernard, St. Anthony 
of Padua, and St. Vincent Ferrer, all of them great preachers 
among Christian nations, and St. Bernard's most marvellous 
period was while he was on his mission through certain parts 
of Europe to organize a crusade. Like another great gift, of 
a more interior kind, of which we shall have to speak pre- 
sently — that of immense consolation and spiritual joy amid 
external sufferings and dangers — the gift of miracles seems to 
find its natural place in the case of the Saints who have to do 
exactly what the Apostles were sent to do, at the time when 
the signs that were to ' follow those who believe' were pro- 
mised by our Lord — to * go into the whole world and preach 
the Gospel to every creature.'-'^- The Processes which were care- 
fully formed in India after the death of Francis Xavier are abund- 
ant in their evidence as to the magnitude and multitude of his 
miracles, and they often speak particularly of those which took 
place on the Fishery Coast during this period of his preaching. 
We shall follow his former biographers in mentioning a few of 
these; but it must be remembered that when the gift of miracles 
has really existed, no account which is made up merely of se- 
lections from those particular instances as to which ocular and 
sworn witnesses happened to be at hand some years later, can 
possibly give any but a very inadequate idea. It is probable 
that as St. John protests at the end of his Gospel, that our Lord 
did many other signs * which are not written in this book,' and 
that 'if all that He had done were written, the world itself 
would not contain the books which should be written,' so also 
the most copious collection of evidence that the most diligent 
inquiry can furnish will never give us a true picture of the daily 
marvels with which the active Apostolic life of some of the 
more miraculous Saints have been illustrated. ^^ 

22 St. Mark xvi. 15. 

33 There are traces of times in the history of the Apostles when miracles 
must have been of daily and almost hourly occurrence ; as when ' the sick were 
brought into the streets and laid on couches, that when Peter came, his shadow 

172 St. Francis Xavier, 

We may begin by that which, in the case of the Apostles 
themselves, was the ' beginning of signs/ that is, the gift of 
tongues. Many misconceptions may be current as to the nature 
of this gift as imparted to the Apostles and others who have 
had to tread in their footsteps. Nor is there any reason for 
supposing that it always took the same form with them or with 
their contemporaries. The *gift of tongues/ indeed, of which 
St. Paul speaks to the Corinthians and elsewhere, was not al- 
ways precisely that gift which enabled the Apostles on the day 
of Pentecost to make themselves understood by men of so 
many different nations at once. The natural interpretation of 
the words of St. Luke (Acts ii. 4, 6) seems to be, that while the 
Apostles spoke with * divers tongues,' * every man heard them 
speak in his own tongue,' and that the miracle must have been 
twofold, — in the possession of new languages by the Apostles, 
and in the hearing of the multitude that came together, on 
whose ears the same sound fell in many different languages at 
once. We may add that no one, as far as we know, has ever 
supposed that the Apostles and their companions became ne- 
cessarily possessed of all the different dialects enumerated by 
the sacred historian in such a manner as to have them at their 
command for the ordinary purposes of life, so as to have been 
able to read or write them, to compose books or catechisms in 
them, or to be in any way independent, where the particular 
occasions for the miraculous gift ceased, of the ordinary diffi- 
culties in intercourse with persons of different nations which 
are the results of the confusion of tongues. No one has ever 
supposed that, because St. Peter or St. Paul raised Tabitha 
or Eutychus to life, either of those Apostles had the power of 
raising every dead person they met with, or of preserving them- 
selves from the natural doom of death. Both these remarks 
are necessary for the illustration of the evidence which has 

at the least might overshadow any of them, and they might be dehvered from 
their infirmities' (Acts v. 15); and in the case of St. Paul when God wrought 
by his hand * more than the common miracles {Svvd/xeis ou rds rvxovaas), and 
persons were healed and delivered from devils by the touch of * handker- 
chiefs ' that had touched him (Acts xix. li, 12). 

Among the Faravas, 1 73 

reached us as to the possession of the gift of tongues by St. 
Francis Xavier. This evidence witnesses to his having had the 
power of speaking freely and clearly in the dialects of the 
numerous different tribes among whom he preached in the 
south of India, and those of Cape Comorin and the Coroman- 
del coast are particularly named. The same statement is made 
as to the Moluccas, and as to Japan. Altogether it is sup- 
posed that he must have had to preach to as many as thirty 
different nations, a number which will not seem surprizing when 
we remember that the witnesses are here speaking of tribes, 
with dialects of their own. as separate nations. It is particu- 
larly stated in the evidence that his possession of this gift was 
notorious, and that it was considered by the natives themselves 
as a mark of his mission from God, and this illustrates the 
words of St. Paul, that ' tongues are for a sign, not to believers, 
but to unbelievers.'^* People were led to hear him and receive 
the truths which he preached by finding a man who could 
never have learnt their language addressing himself to them 
with ease, and by observing that bystanders whose dialect 
differed from their own were as well able to understand him 
as themselves. The occasions on which this took place were 
when he preached to a crowd, and we do not find it stated 
that he could dispense with an interpreter for more familiar 
conversation ; nor is it said that there were never times at 
which he did not possess the gift even for public instructions, 
which he was often in the habit of giving by means of such 

The gift of tongues, moreover, was but one of a number of 
marvellous powers imparted to Francis in the way and in the 
degree in which such powers are often bestowed upon the 
Saints. The number of his miracles on the Fishery Coast and 
in the adjacent parts was so great, that we are assured that 
they would of themselves fill a large volume. Some few of 
the more signal of these miracles may be rapidly mentioned. 
A beggar covered with sores and putrid wounds asked an alms 

34 I Cor. xiv. 22, We hope to give a short abstract of the results. of the evidence 
as to the gift of tongues in the case of St. Francis further on (Book v. note 2). 

1 74 ^^' Francis Xavier. 

of him, and Francis washed him with his own hands, drank 
some of the water, and sent him away perfectly cured and 
sound. He was about to say mass in a little church at Com- 
butur, when a crowd entered with the corpse of a boy who 
had been drowned in a well. The mother threw herself at the 
feet of Francis Xavier, who had baptized her child, and im- 
plored him to restore him to life. After a short prayer, he 
took the dead child by the hand and bade him arise. The 
child rose up at once, and ran to his mother. One of two 
youths who accompanied him as catechists was bitten at night 
in the foot by a cobra da capello, and was found in the morn- 
ing to be dead. Francis touched the foot with the saliva from 
his mouth, made the sign of the Cross over him, took him by 
the hand and bade him rise in the name of Jesus Christ. He 
rose at once, and was able to continue on their journey im- 
mediately, as if he had been simply asleep. There are other 
cases related of his raising the dead in this part of the country, 
and it is even stated in the Processes that one of the children 
whom he used to send about in his name to the sick raised 
two dead persons to life. 

We have here touched upon another class of the prodigies 
wrought by Francis Xavier — those which were brought about 
by means of the Christian children. He mentions in his letter 
■given above, that such things frequently took place, but he 
omits to add that the children usually armed themselves with 
something belonging to him, his rosary, or reliquary, or cruci- 
fix, and that after they had recited the prayers of the Church 
and asked the sick person whether he were ready to receive 
the Christian faith, they used to make the sign of the Cross 
over him, and that complete restoration to health ordinarily 
followed. The same method availed sometimes even for driv- 
ing out devils. These children, as has been said, play quite 
an important part in this wonderful mission of the Fishery 
Coast. They instructed their own parents in the truths which 
they themselves had learnt at school, they witnessed against 
them fearlessly in case of their quarrelling or using bad language, 
they were keen after any one who made idols or got drunk^ 

Among the Paravas, ly^ 

and their greatest delight of all was to assist at the demolition 
of the idols in the heathen temples. 

The opposition which Francis everywhere met with from 
the Brahmins was natural and to be expected, and in the let- 
ter to his friends at Rome he speaks of them as he had found 
them. The Paravas, for whom he principally laboured, were 
of a low caste, and it is not likely that Francis had come across 
any very perfect information as to the extremely powerful in- 
fluence which the system of castes exercises on Indian society. 
More than half a century was to elapse before the attempt 
made by the saintly Robert de' Nobili at Madura to convert 
the higher castes of the Indians, for which purpose he was 
obliged to separate himself entirely from the Portuguese, who, 
though still in unbroken power and empire in India, were held 
in abomination as men who ate beef, drank intoxicating drinks, 
and held communication with pariahs. The great ascendancy 
given to Francis Xavier by his character for sanctity, his mira- 
cles, his preternatural devotion to labours and sufferings of 
every kind for the benefit of others, is shown in the sort of de- 
ference which the Brahmins seemed to have felt obliged to pay 
him, if not from their own convictions, at least out of regard 
or fear for the popular opinion concerning him. He has spoken 
at some length concerning them, but he is entirely silent in the 
letters which we have as yet seen concerning another class of 
opponents, who were perhaps more mischievous to the cause 
of religion, and who were certainly causes to him of far more 
intense suffering. These foes were some of the Portuguese, and, 
among them, many officers in the service of the crown and in 
posts of authority along the coast, who treated the Indians in 
general, without making any exception in favour of the newly 
made Christians, with every kind of cruelty and injustice. If 
we were to judge only from the letters given above, comparing 
them with others which we shall presently have to translate, " 
we might imagine that, in respect at least of any annoyance or 
opposition which might or might not have been met with from 
these representatives of a Catholic nation and sovereign, the 
first year of the preaching of Francis among the Fishers of 

I yd St, Francis Xavier, 

Cape Comorin was a time of peace and unchequered progress 
and victory in the cause of God. But the letters to Mancias, 
which we shall have to give in our next chapter, reveal a state 
of things the existence of which is not compatible with such 
a supposition. The miseries brought upon the Indian Chris- 
tians from the misconduct and rapacity of the Portuguese are 
not there spoken of as anything new, but rather as old sores, 
which have long been festering, and which have almost deter- 
mined St. Francis to give up his mission altogether. 

We have now, perhaps, gone through the principal elements 
which must be combined and blended if we are to give our- 
selves some faint picture of the daily life of Francis Xavier at 
this period. It was a life of very great hardships, courted and 
even enhanced by his heroic spirit of mortification, and his 
ingenious love for poverty and humiliation. It was a life of 
incessant labour, toilsome service in waiting on the sick, in- 
structing the ignorant and the children, burying the dead, set- 
tling disputes, listening to questions, and answering difficulties; 
but every pain and fatigue \^as sweetened and gilded by the 
intense charity which animated every action. It was, as we 
shall be able to show more fully in the next chapter, a life 
liable to frequent changes and interruptions, in which sudden 
dangers had to be met, great exertions were called for, con- 
summate prudence, ready resolution, and rapid decision re- 
quired to ensure safety and avert calamity, and, as will also be 
seen from the letters to Mancias, it was a life of great solitude 
in the midst of crowds and of the busiest occupation, if soli- 
tude is to be measured by the absence of true companionship 
and sympathy. It was a life beset by frequent risks and deadly 
hostility, and the darling aim of which was constantly and 
fatally thwarted by persons who ought to have been the first 
to further it with the utmost devotion. It was made splendid 
and luminous to the whole populations among whom Francis 
was moving by the habitual exercise of the gift of miracles, and 
by a repetition of the external wonders which had astonished 
and helped to convert the hearers of the Apostles. We are told 
that in Portugal the name of 'Apostle' clung to the members 

Among the Paravas, 177 

of the Society on account of the impression produced by the 
life and teaching of Francis and Simon Rodriguez. On the 
Fishery Coast Francis now came to be commonly spoken of 
as * the Holy Father.' 

A few more words complete what we know of this period. 
To all these features we must add another, to name which is 
to name that which to Francis himself was overwhelmingly pre- 
dominant, and gave its own character to the whole tenour of 
his existence, and yet which it is given to few, and those only 
men like himself, even to understand in any perfect measure. 
More than once he bursts out in his letters about that which 
is usually the treasured secret of souls like his, but as to which 
either he was unable to keep silence, or he thought it well to 
speak for the glory of God and the encouragement of others 
to tread in the same path of devotion to the cause of the con- 
version of the heathen. This feature was the immense over- 
powering sweetness and consolation with which God so often 
flooded his whole soul — the joy which he felt too much for him 
here below, so that he was fain to pray that either that intense 
rapturous delight might be modified, or he might be taken 
away to see without interruption or veil the Face of God from 
Whom it came. The present reward of his share in Aposto- 
lical labours was a share also in the incommunicable consola- 
tions which are the peculiar privilege of such ministrations — 
consolations which none but those who have tasted them can 
ever distantly imagine, and which reflect, perhaps, in some faint 
degree the joy of the Good Shepherd Himself when 'He re- 
joiced in the Holy Ghost, and said, I confess to Thee, O Father, 
Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these 
things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to 
little ones. '3^ When we consider that interior and sensible 
happiness of this kind was probably as habitual to Francis 
Xavier at this time as the gift of miracles, we are able to see 
in part how very faint an idea can be formed from without of 
the conditions and characteristics of an existence such as his. 

^ L^ike X. 21. 
VOL. I. N 


The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 

We have seen how, in his letters to Europe, Francis Xavier 
made no mention of two very important though very different 
elements which inflHenced in no slight degree, in their several 
ways, the life which he led at the time of which we are now 
speaking. He made no mention either of the multitude of con- 
stantly recurring miracles by which his mission was authenti- 
cated, or, on the other hand, of the frequent obstacles placed 
in the way of the advance of the Gospel by some of the Portu- 
guese officers and traders who had dealings of various kinds 
with the natives, either Christian or heathen. Of this last 
element of annoyance, which probably in the end prevented 
him from attempting even more than he did attempt for the 
benefit of the various tribes and kingdoms in the south of In- 
dia, we shall find abundant mention in the series of letters which 
remain to us to illustrate the second year of the labours of 
Francis in that part of the world, and we shall also find in the 
same documents a quantity of striking evidence as to another 
feature in his life at this time, which consisted in the compara- 
tive poorness of the tools with which he had to work, and the 
entire absence from his side of any one whom he could con- 
stantly look to as a companion and a brother, as had been 
his lot when he first began to labour in Italy for the good of 

It is indeed the almost inevitable lot of the great Saints 
who have to labour as Apostles in the Church of Christ, and 
especially of those whose vocation it is to bear the light and 
grace of the Gospel to heathen nations, that they should have 
to work in great loneliness, and find but little sympathy and 
few congenial hearts among such companions as may join 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 179 

themselves to them. It is almost a part of the character on 
which the great graces which are so often given to them are 
grounded, to be tender, sensitive, sympathetic, prodigar of af- 
fection to an extraordinary degree, and the quickness, large- 
ness, warmth, and depth of their feelings are enhanced and 
intensified as divine charity more thoroughly penetrates and 
possesses them. But the hearts that are most ready to give 
love are also most eager for its return, and most poignantly 
disappointed by its absence. The hearts of the Saints ap- 
proach more and more nearly the intense delicacy and tender- 
ness of the Heart of the Saint of Saints. To one who practises 
attentive and thoughtful meditation on the life of our Lord, 
His own great loneliness will, perhaps, sometimes dawn in a 
fresh and more powerful light, as a feature in the history of 
which a cursory acquaintance with that history had given him a 
very inadequate idea, and we find the same feature in that pic- 
ture of the mind and heart of the great iVpostle of the Gentiles 
which has been drawn for us by himself in his Epistles, espe- 
cially, for instance, in the second Epistle to the Corinthians, 
and in his Epistles to St. Timothy. The Cross of the Sacred 
Heart itself was wrought to a great extent by the coldness, 
dullness, and narrowness of those whom our Lord loved so 
tenderly, and in this respect even His friends and dearest 
Apostles had some share in the wounds which pierced It. 
One heart alone beat entirely and unceasingly in accordance 
with His own, and from that motherly heart He was often 
separated outwardly by the Providence which guided His steps 
on earth. 

In the case of St. Francis Xavier it could hardly be other- 
wise. Almost every line of his letters shows his intense 
affectionateness. He had left the men who had been for so 
long his brothers in heart and life behind him in Europe, and 
before he set sail from Lisbon he had to abandon the hope of 
having even the single companionship of Simon Rodriguez in 
his labours in the East. His letters show us how he yearned 
with all his heart for marks of their sympathy from a distance, 
and how large a part of his thoughts and affections was ever 

i8o *S/. Francis Xavier, 

occupied with them, and with that other and ever increasing 
band of brethren whom he had never seen in the flesh, but 
who were so closely linked to him by the spiritual ties which 
united all the members, living or dead, of his religious Society 
one to another. When one lonely heart is thus joined to 
many at a distance who hav« abundance of companionship to 
surround their daily life, it is but natural that the yearning for 
some sort of communication should be more deeply felt in the 
case of the first than in that of the last. So we may suppose 
it to have been here. While Francis was full of thoughts of 
his brethren, and writing to them at every opportunity, it 
would appear — not indeed that he was forgotten, for St. Igna- 
tius, to speak of no other, was not a man to forget one who 
had entered so deeply into his heart as Francis Xavier — but 
that the multiplicity of their occupations and the immense 
distance between them made letters and communications to 
him from Europe few and far between. Other companions 
whom he hoped for and seemed to reckon upon in Portugal 
had failed him also. Those who went with him, Father Paul 
of Camerino and Francis Mancias, were good and zealous in 
their way, but we are sorry to find that they both gave him a 
good deal of trouble, nor were they men at all capable of re- 
paying in kind the intense and watchful affection which he 
lavished upon them so freely. We shall have to make the 
same remark on some, at least, who joined him from Europe, 
for where there is a great scarcity of able workmen in the 
Church, and a great demand for the work of such men at 
home, it is almost inevitable that distant missions even of the 
highest importance should fare comparatively poorly, and have 
but Httle choice as to the men who are spared for their needs. 
Francis had returned from the Fishery Coast to Goa, as 
has been said, towards the end of 1543.-^ He had some busi- 
ness to transact with the Governor, and was probably more 
open to him about the misconduct of the Portuguese than to 
his friends 2X Rome. He must at this time have arranged 
about the revenue to be allotted to the Canacopoli out of the 
1 Father Menchacha places it as early as September. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 1 8 1 

money which was usually paid for the shoes and slippers of 
Queen Catharine of Portugal. He found at Goa his two com- 
panions from Lisbon, Father Paul of Camerino and Francis 
Mancias, and, after settling that the former should govern the 
College of St. Paul for the Society, he returned to the Fishery 
Coast with the latter, as well as with two native priests, Francis 
Coelho and Joam de Lizana, with Joam d'Artiaga, a layman 
who had become attached to him after having been converted 
from a worldly life, and some other assistants of the same 

We hear only occasionally of the greater part of this little 
band ; but we may perhaps fairly suppose that Francis Man- 
cias did not receive more of the attention of St. Francis than 
the rest, though we happen by a fortunate accident to hear a 
great deal about him. We have no accurate information as 
to the posts allotted to these different missionaries and cate- 
chists, and the names of places which occur in the letters 
which we are about to insert are in most cases names and 
nothing more. It is clear, however, that this little party was 
dispersed among the various villages of the Indians along the 
coast, each one having a small circuit of his own allotted to 
him, within which he was to keep passing from village to vil- 
lage. Mancias himself was probably the companion of Francis 
Xavier during the earlier months of the period of which we 
speak. After a time he was placed by himself, and was, most 
happily for us, in constant need of direction and encourage- 
ment, which he received from St. Francis in a series of letters, 
many of which are most fortunately preserved to us. Some of 
these letters are no more than short hasty notes. Francis 
sometimes wrote more than one on the same day, containing 
repetitions of instruction or advice, which he sent by different 
messengers so as to make the safe arrival of the contents more 
sure. The letters to which these were answers are not in our 
possession, but if they were, they would hardly, perhaps, add 

2 The letter to the Society, last inserted, was written from Cochin, which 
place Francis must have visited on some business after returning to tlie Fishery 

1 82 St. Francis Xavier, 

very much to our knowledge of the character of Mancias him- 
self, which is unconsciously pourtrayed by his correspondent. 
Mancias was not yet a priest when these letters were written 
(except the last). He did not ultimately persevere in the So- 
ciety, and we can see traces in the correspondence of some of 
the faults of character which brought about his dismissal. But 
we are, as we have said, greatly his debtor for preserving to us 
this series of notes and letters, which make us, indeed, long 
for more records of the same sort, but which still throw a 
very great light upon the character of Francis Xavier. Most 
of these letters were unknown to his earlier biographers, and 
they have hardly been sufficiently used even by the later writers 
on his life. They come from his heart, and enable us to form 
a far more lively picture of the difficulties of his missionary 
career in India than if we possessed only a simple narrative 
of his labours. They certainly give us a great idea of his ex- 
treme activity in his correspondence with his fellow labourers 
and subordinates. 

Among the difficulties with which St. Francis had to deal, 
we must in the first place reckon Mancias himself. He seems 
to have been hot tempered and violent, easily moved to anger 
and indignation, apt to have recourse to severity on every oc- 
casion, and at the same time — as is often the case with men 
of strong temper — easily disheartened, and wanting in energy 
and perseverance in his wxary and apparently thankless work. 
This work was neither specious nor easy ; it required strength, 
resolution, and immense patience. It was, as we have seen 
already, of the most elementary and laborious character. Fran- 
cis Xavier had early learnt that the greatest hopes of the 
future Christian community, which was to be formed out of 
the native population, lay in the children. We have seen how, 
writing to his religious brethren in Rome, after having spent a 
year on the Malabar coast, he spoke of the intercession made 
in heaven for him and his friends by more than a thousand 
children whom he had baptized with his own hand, and who 
had died before attaining to the age of reason. He was always 
zealous to baptize and cause to be baptized all the newborn 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 183 

children that he and his fellow missionaries met with in the 
lately converted populations, and this was one of the charges 
which we find him most frequently repeating in the letters to 
Mancias. He had also made provision, as we have seen, 
for the constant teaching of the Catechism to all children of 
an age to learn, appointing native masters in all the villages, 
and securing them a salary. These men required continual 
supervision and encouragement, and it was very necessary to 
make them feel that a watchful eye was kept over them, and 
that their salaries might depend on the zeal with which their 
duties were performed. Then there were the meetings of the 
adults on Sundays and Feasts to be looked to. Men and wo- 
men were to be assembled separately, to repeat the Creed, the 
Commandments, and the prayers which Francis had taught 
them. Besides this, there were the adults to be baptized as 
soon as they were sufficiently prepared and proved, the sick to 
be visited and prayed over, the poor to be attended to, and 
numberless affairs to be settled by the missionary, who was to 
be father and ruler to these ignorant and indolent people as 
well as religious teacher. His time could not be spent in any 
one place ; he was to travel from village to village, baptizing, 
catechizing, visiting the sick, examining the schools and urging 
the catechists to their duty, and as soon as he had made his 
round through the circle of country committed to him, he 
wa,3 to begin again and again in the same way. This is what 
Francis himself had done during the first year of his work 
among the natives, and to this work he now had to keep 

The first letter of the series now before us shows that 
Francis already felt that his companion's courage was likely 
enough soon to give way. The Commandant mentioned in 
the second part of the letter must have been the Portuguese 
officer in command of the fort at Tuticorin, a certain Cosmo 
de Payva, of whom we shall hear more as a great thorn in the 
side of St. Francis. 

184 St. Francis Xavier. 

(xv.) To Francis Mancias^ setting out for Comorin. 

May the grace and charity of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

My dearest Brother, 

I am most anxious to know what you are doing ; 
and therefore I beg of you, for the love of Jesus Christ, to 
write to me accurately, taking plenty of time over your letter, 
everything that in any way concerns yourself and your com- 
panions in those parts. I will write to you as soon as ever I 
reach Munahpaud to tell you of my arrival. 

Remember the instructions which I gave you in writing 
when we parted, and pray to God to strengthen you with great 
patience, the quality necessary above all others in dealing with 
the people you have to do with. Make up your mind that 
what you are to suffer among them is to be to you instead of 
your Purgatory, and that you are to pay now here and at once 
the penalty of your faults. And acknowledge how great a 
favour it is that God grants you, to be able while still breathing 
the breath of life to make atonement for the sins of your youth, 
while you have the opportunity of gaining grace by it (which 
could not be in Purgatory), and at the same time have so much 
less pain than you might have there. 

You will tell Joam d'Artiaga that the Commandant writes 
me word that he has paid him ten gold crowns to be placed to 
my account, but that I have replied to the Commandant that 
neither you, nor Joam d' Artiaga, nor myself are in want of any 
money before his own return from the Fishery Coast, and that 
I have given orders to Joam d' Artiaga, to return this sum to 
him. Tell Artiaga from me to do this, unless this money, in- 
stead of being a gift, should be a payment which is owing to 
us, and to which we have a right, on some other account, 
which I have some reason to suspect. I have heard some- 
thing to the effect that the Governor who furnishes us, by the 
King's orders, with what is necessary for our living and main- 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 185 

tenance, has sent a bill for ten pardams to the Commandant 
here that he may get us an interpreter. It may be that the 
Commandant, not seeing any present opportunity or future hope 
of getting us an interpreter, and not wishing to keep other 
people's money in his hands to no purpose, has at onc€ sent 
it on to those for whose use he knew it to be destined. If 
this is so, keep it by all means ; if not, then let the Com- 
mandant have his money back at once, and I wish Artiaga to 
repay it immediately. I wish for you all the grace from heaven 
to enable you to serve God, that I desire and pray for for my- 
self. Farewell. 

From Punical, February 22, 1544. 

I do not write to Joam d' Artiaga, because this letter is for 
him as well as for you. 

Your most affectionate brother, 


The next, ten days or so later, contains the same urgent 
entreaty — to which he adds a concession to the severity of 
Mancias, sending a beadle, or some officer of the kind, to 
punish drunken women. 

(xvi.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

Your letter has given me great comfort. I 
implore you over and over again to deal with that poor de- 
graded people as good fathers do with bad children. Don't 
let your courage give way, however many may be the depraved 
and wicked things you see them do : for God Himself, Whom 
they so grievously offend, nevertheless does not kill them, as 
He might by a single nod. He does not cease to supply them 
with what they need for their life and support, and yet, unless 
He were to keep His bountiful hand open to them, all these 
things would fail, and the poor wretches would perish for want, 
as indeed they deserve to perish. I would have you consider 

i86 St, Francis Xavier, 

this example of God, and conform your mind to greater indul- 
gence by it, casting aside all needless worry and distress of 

Your labours where you are are more fruitful than you 
think, and although you may not make all the way that you 
desire, still, take my word for it, you are doing very sufficient 
work, and work which you will never repent of. And, after all, 
whatever may be the success of your labours, you have a sure 
consolation in the fact that it was not your doing nor your 
fault in any way that it has been otherwise than could be 
wished. For the rest, as we have good precedents as well as 
good reason to show us that we may lawfully use the King's 
authority to break down the indomitable and stiffnecked ob- 
stinacy of a race over which he rules, I send you an officer 
whom I have asked of the Governor, who is commissioned to 
exact a fine of one fanam (two silver pieces) of any woman who 
continues to get tipsy on arrack, contrary to the edicts lately 
issued, and also to cast any one found guilty of such intem- 
perance into prison for three days. And you must take care 
to have it published with all possible clearness throughout all 
your villages and dwellings, that this law will in future be in- 
exorably enforced, and tell the Patangatins (the heads of the 
villages) that if after this any arrack is drunk in Punical, they 
must themselves expect severe punishment from me. 

Exhort Matthew to behave to me like a good son; and 
say that, if he does this, I will give him far greater good things 
and advantages than he could ever have expected from his 
own parents. And just in this interval during which I am 
prevented from getting to you, as I am in haste to do, give 
some serious warnings to those Patangatins you speak of; tell 
them, if they are wise, to amend their bad ways, otherwise that 
I have made up my mind to use the power which the Gover- 
nor has given me, and that all whom, when I come, I find still 
addicted to their favourite vices, I shall order to be taken in 
chains to Cochin ; and they need not flatter themselves that 
they will soon get off with a light punishment. I have firmly 
resolved on what I now declare, that I will take good care 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 187 

that they shall never be allowed to return to Punical. It is as 
clear as it can be, that all the many crimes and wickednesses 
that are committed in their country are to be laid to the fault 
and charge of these Patangatins alone. 

Mind to take the greatest care to baptize as soon as pos- 
sible all newborn infants. And directly they are past infancy 
and are able to begin to be taught anything, begin as early as 
may be to teach them the rudiments of Christian doctrine, as 
you may remember that I enjoined you to do most earnestly. 
Every Sunday also you must give the Catechism to all the 
people together, men and women, boys and girls, training 
them well in the prayers and acts which it is my custom to 
teach them, as you know, and you should add to this a short 
sermon on some subject that may be practically useful. Watch 
with all diligence, even going so far as to visit and examine the 
workshops of the artisans, to prevent any one from carving or 
making idols. I hear that a letter has been sent directed to 
me, to where you are, from Alvarez Fogaza ; do not send it 
here, but keep it for me till I come. 

May our Lord God fill you, in this life and the next, with 
all those mighty consolations which I pray to Him to grant to 
myself. Farewell. 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, March 14, 1544. 

The Matthew here mentioned seems to have been a lad 
whom St. Francis had left with Mancias as an assistant, and 
the letters frequently speak of him in a playful way, as will be 
seen in our next extract. Mancias must have written, in the 
course of the same month, to tell Francis that he was well and 
enjoying great consolation and delight in his work. The 
answer is full of joy, sympathy, and, at the same time, 

1 88 «S/. Francis Xavier. 

(xvii.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

Your letter has given me incredible joy, and 
done my soul immense good, because it tells me that you are 
very happy in your mission and are visited by God with won- 
derful consolations. And now that you have had experience 
that God remembers you, do not let yourself ever forget Him. 
Beware of growing weary of your work, however ungrateful it 
may be, and don't let any kind of disgust weaken you so as to 
relax your keen and unconquerable perseverance in the good 
which you have begun. Keep always a humble and lowly 
spirit before God, with a meek feeling of internal thankfulness 
that He has chosen you for so lofty an office as that which 
you are discharging. You have the paper of injunctions that 
I gave you ; I have nothing to add to them, nothing new 
to recommend. Remember me always, for I never forget to 
think of you. Tell Matthew to be my good child, and that 
he will find me a good father. I am always on the lookout 
for occasions of helping him on. Tell him also that I order 
him, on Sundays, when he repeats in church the answers to the 
Catechism, which you have taught him at home, to speak so 
loud that not only all the congregation may hear him, but that 
his voice may reach us here at Munahpaud. Let me know 
also about the Christians of Tuticorin, in what state they are, 
and whether the Portuguese who have stopped there give them 
any trouble; also what news there is about the Governor — 
whether he is to pass the winter at Cochin, or not. 

Here we have an affair of great magnitude just beginning 
— one that promises a splendid opening for the service of God 
our Lord. I beg you to pray to Him very urgently that He 
may be pleased to bring the hopes which He has let us enter- 
tain to a prosperous issue, and ripen the good beginnings of 
the opportunity which we so much desire. 

I entreat you to show continual marks of very great love to 
the whole of the people you are among, rulers and nobles, and 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 189 

also the lowest classes. The consequence will most certainly 
be that they will love you in return, and, if you once get to 
that, the ministry by which you are trying to lead them to the 
knowledge and worship of God our Lord will find its course 
more easy and its firuit more abundant. Accustom yourself to 
bear with great patience all their weaknesses and their slips 
from frailty, keeping up in your mind the merciful and charit- 
able hope that though they are not yet good, they will one 
day become so. And, after all, if you can't make them ad- 
vance quite as far as you intended, still don't repent of having 
tried, and take that little good which you have been able to 
beat out of them as a sufficient reward. For my part, this is 
the way I comfort myself in suchlike troubles. 

May God be always with you, and give us grace that we 
may serve Him for ever ! Farewell. 

Your brother in Jesus Christ, 

From Munahpaud, March 20th, 1544. 

We here come for the first time upon a direct mention of 
the trouble caused by the Portuguese to the native Christians. 
There has probably never yet been a zealous European mis- 
sionary in any part of the heathen world in which Christians 
from his own country have been settled, or which they have 
occasionally visited for purposes of commerce, who has not 
found among them the worst enemies to his work. No ex- 
ception can be made as to this lamentable truth in favour of 
Catholic nations : Spaniards, Frenchmen, Portuguese, have as 
much to answer for in this respect as Dutchmen and English- 
men. Some Catholics, under such circumstances, have done 
infinitely more for religion than can be claimed for Protestants, 
and we shall find noble instances of this among the Portuguese 
merchants, as well as among the officers of the Crown, in the 
time of St. Francis. But many Catholics have done quite as 
much against religion as any others, and we shall now find 
this dark thread of the bad treatment of native Christians on 
the part of the Portuguese settlers, merchants, soldiers, and 
even officials, running through the whole of the story before us. 

igo St. Francis Xavier. 

The letter also alludes to another plan which now occupied 
Francis. He had now fairly provided for the regular teaching 
of the converts on the Fishery Coast, and though the priests 
were few, it was quite possible for them, by frequent visits to 
the several villages, to administer the sacraments at stated 
intervals, while the ordinary instruction and the conferring of 
baptism in cases of necessity could be looked to by the cate- 
chists and Canacapoli. He was desirous of extending the range 
of his missionary action, and bringing yet more of the natives 
into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. On the western shores of 
the tongue of land which ends in Cape Comorin, and between 
the Fishery Coast itself and the Portuguese settlement at Co- 
chin, lay the Kingdom of Travancore, and it was a part of the 
plan of the Saint to preach the Gospel to its inhabitants. It is 
not easy to settle with perfect clearness the exact relation which 
the Rajah of Travancore held towards other princes of the 
south of India, and it is probable that the relations between 
them were continually changing. At this time he seems to have 
been a potentate of considerable magnitude, though in the next 
century his successors had sunk into the lords of a small terri- 
tory, tributary to the King or Rajah of Madura or Bisnaghur. 
At the time of St. Francis, he was known in his own country 
as the Maharajah or great Rajah, a name probably acquired by 
his success, shortly before, in bringing under his authority a 
number of petty princes, or, more properly speaking, nobles, 
who had up to that time ruled the country, each as the small 
tyrant of his own neighbourhood. These were the Pulas, or 
Polygars, of whom mention is made in the letter which wull 
follow immediately; they dwelt in small castles or fastnesses on 
the high grounds, and kept the country round them in terror 
and subjection.3 The position of a prince who had reduced 
this troublesome class to tacit submission may well be ima- 

3 We find these details in M. Ldon Pages' admirable French translation of 
the Letters of St. Francis (t. i. p. loo). He adds that the Mudaliars, whose 
name will occur further on, were a class on the Coromandel Coast, belonging 
to the Vaicyas (merchants and cultivators of the soil), the third caste among the 
Indians, who enjoyed great influence from the thirteenth to the sixteenth cen- 

^he Fishery Coast and Travancore, 191 

gined, and we can easily understand that the ' Great Rajah' of 
Travancore was anxious to secure the support of the Portuguese 
against these subordinate rajahs, who were certain to revolt as 
soon as it was in their power to do so with hopes of success, 
and who, moreover, might purchase for themselves the alliance 
of the Portuguese against him unless he anticipated them. 
How far these political reasons weighed with the Rajah of 
Travancore, Iniquitribirim,^ cannot be known for certain ; but 
he appears thus early in the year to have shown signs of a 
friendly disposition to St. Francis, even if the latter had not 
already, by his leave, preached in his country, which soon after 
this, at all events, became the scene of his most active labours, 
as well as of some most remarkable miracles. These facts 
explain to us the indignation which is expressed in the follow- 
|ing letter at the thwarting of his plans by an act of unjustifiable 
violence on the part of some Portuguese adventurer. 

(xviii.) To Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

No words could express the earnest desire which 
weighs upon me to get to you on the coast. I declare to you 
that it is the strict truth that if this very day I could find a ship 
that was leaving for those parts, I should at once embark in it. 

Here are three nobles come to me from the Court of the 
Rajah of Travancore, complaining of a Portuguese who, they 
say, has arrested at Patanai a slave of their prince Iniquitribirim, 
and taken him in chains to Punical. They hear that the man 
boasts that he will take him to Tuticorin. Find out what the 
truth of the matter is, and write about it, I beg you, to the 
Commandant. And if it should be that the Portuguese be 

tury. There are many ruins now to be seen of the fortresses built by them, and 
the common answer to an enquiry about a ruin in those parts is, that it was 
built by so and so, who was a Polygar, or a Mudaliar. A fact like this shows 
their importance, and the difficulty which the Rajah must have had in keeping 
them in order. 

4 The name is so given in the letters, but it is said to be hopelessly unlike 
any conceivable Hindoo name. 

T92 St, Francis Xavier, 

found there, whoever he may be, turn every stone that the 
poor prisoner be set free at once. If it be that he owes the 
Portuguese anything, let the complaint be laid before his own 
prince, who is sure to decide what is just, and who will main- 
tain, as he always does, the rights of our people. This advice 
is no doubt given too late, for this is what they should have 
done in the beginning, and no subject of an allied prince ought 
to have been seized and taken out of a place in his domi- 
nions without his being consulted. How absurdly we use our 
strength ! We spare our enemies and plunder our friends. 
This act of injustice shuts me out from access to the Rajah, 
who is otherwise well disposed, for it would be the unwisest 
thing in the world for me to present myself to an indignant 
Court, boiling over with the sense of so grave an insult lately 
received. I can well forgive their anger, which has a just cause 
to kindle it. For what can be more intolerable than that men 
who call themselves the allies of a Rajah should lay violent 
hands on the servant of one of his friends in his own domi- 
nions, without waiting for or asking his consent? an outrage 
never heard of even in the time of the Pulas, when they ruled 
in those parts in a manner that was simply tyrannical. As 
for me, I really don't know what line I shall take, so entirely 
are all my measures and precautions upset by the inconsiderate 
outbreak of this reckless miscreant. I feel strongly urged to 
be off and have done with it ; for why should we waste more 
time here, among men who are utterly regardless of any con- 
siderations of justice, and who never care a straw at the cost 
of what damage to religion or to the State they indulge their 
own passions ? above all, whose outrages are encouraged by 
impunity ? Every one can see that if the men who were con- 
cerned in that shameless robbery of the myoparon^ the other 
day had been punished as they deserved, we should not find 
the Portuguese now breaking out in outrages of the same sort. 
It will be a narrow escape for us now if the Rajah of Travan- 

5 A myoparon was a large flatbottomed boat — a sort of barge. We are 
without information as to the details of this outrage — one, probably, of a num- 
ber that were constantly recurring. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 1 93 

core, irritated by so wanton an insult, do not take some severe 
measures against the Christians who are his subjects.*^ 

I wish you to write and tell the Commandant how much 
I am distressed at this act of violence on the person of the 
Rajah of Travancore's slave, not only on account of the bad 
feeling which so scandalous a crime must produce, but also 
on account of the positive evils which threaten us in conse- 
quence of it. I myself have almost made up my mind never to 
write again on such matters, for these people want to do just 
what comes into their head, and they can't bear to be told 
what is disagreeable to hear. They seem to think that it is 
an injury and an insult to them if any one dares to open his 
mouth while they are trampling on rights of all kinds. If it 
should happen that you get certain information that the slave 
carried off by the Portuguese is at Tuticorin, then, I conjure 
you, by all the desire you have to please God, go yourself at 
once to the Commandant, and work upon him by all the means 
in your power to get the poor fellow set free at once. And let 
the Portuguese who had him arrested come here and make his 
claim or his complaint, and he will find all that consideration 
of his rights which is needed to give him full satisfaction. 

I wonder whether the Portuguese would think it good if, 
when one of the natives happened to have a dispute with one 
of themselves, he was to seize the Portuguese by main force, 
put him in chains, and have him taken out of a place in our 
territory and carried up the country? Certainly not. The 
Indians must have the same feelings; why should we do to 
them what we don't wish to be done to oui selves ? Why should 
we be astonished that they, like ourselves, are indignant when 
they are injured? There would be more to excuse the aggres- 
sion if they denied us justice ; but what plausible excuse can 
we plead now, when they undertake to do justice with the 
utmost faithfulness, observe exactly all the conditions of the 

6 This seems to show that the conversions in Travancore had already begun. 
But it would appear that the ' Great Rajah' had at least some authority at Mu- 
nahpaud itself, whence Francis writes, and the whole Fishery Coast may have 
been under his suzerainty. 

VOL. I. O 

194 S^' Francis Xavier. 

alliance, and when they keep the peace and deal with all the 
equity we could desire in their intercourse with us ? Where 
can we possibly find a pretext to cover even speciously the 
shameful disgrace of our faithless breach of agreement ? If 
any insurmountable obstacle should prevent you from going 
yourself at once to the Commandant, send Paul Vaz to him 
with a letter from you. 

I declare once more that this news has disturbed me more 
than I can express by letter. May our Lord God give us the 
strength of mind that is needed for us to bear with becoming 
patience such reckless excesses as this ! Though what I have 
said about the affair has been ascertained on good authority, 
still please not to think it too much trouble to write to me a 
thorough account of the whole matter, as far as you can find 
out on the spot. Is it true that a Portuguese has seized a 
slave of the Rajah of Travancore within the territory of the 
latter? If he has, what reason does he allege for it, and does 
he really intend to take the man to Tuticorin, and for what? 
1 should be very glad to hear something at least which may 
diminish the atrocity of this detestable action, and prove that 
report had exaggerated it. If there is no way of lightening 
the ill feeling which has been caused, and if the facts really 
are what they are said to be, then I must give up my plan of 
going to see the Rajah, with whom I was going to treat of 
matters concerning the service of God. You well know how 
these people are incensed at these seizures of slaves, especially 
from territory of their own; and there can be no doubt that 
they must all be calling out for vengeance, and heaping re- 
proaches upon the whole race of Portuguese, and even on the 
Christian religion. It would never be wise for me to expose 
myself to all this hostility. No, I shall have to think of going 
elsewhere. I have long thought of it, and now shall have to 
set myself to work to carry it out. I have long had the idea 
suggesting itself to my mind, and it really seems very attrac- 
tive, of leaving India altogether, where so many obstacles are 
placed in the way of the advancement of the Gospel from 
quarters from which least of all such obstacles should arise, 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 1 95 

and going instead to Ethiopia, where there is a great and pro- 
bable hope to invite us of advancing signally the glory of our 
Lord God by preaching the Gospel, and where there will be 
no Europeans to oppose us and pull down what we have built 
up. I cannot hide from you that I feel so strongly impelled 
that way, that it is not unlikely I shall embark at Munahpaud 
on one of the little country vessels,^ of which there are plenty, 
and go to Goa at once to prepare all that is necessary for my 
departure for the dominions of Prester John. 

May God grant us His help and grace ! Amen. 
Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, March 24th, 1544. 

It may surprise the reader to hear Francis Xavier speak 
of going to Prester John. The Portuguese conquests on the 
coast of Africa, and their interference in the affairs of Abys- 
sinia, had awakened in Europe a great interest in the almost 
nominal Christians of those countries. The famous expedition 
of Don Cristoval de Gama, who with 400 men marched with 
ease about the country which it cost an English army so many 
millions of pounds to penetrate a few years ago, took place in 
1540. John III., five or six years later, asked for missionaries 
of the Society, and the negotiations issued in 1556 in the mis- 
sion of Father Nunez Barreto (as Patriarch) and several others, 
to Claudius King of Abyssinia, who occupied the place of the 
so-called Prester John. It may be feared that Francis Xavier 
would have found troubles enough in Abyssinia as well as in 
India.^ At all events, hi^ intention of setting off at once was 
not carried out. His next letter was written from the same 
spot, only a few days later. It mentions another outrage com- 
mitted by the Portuguese, this time on the Christians. 

7 qzios tonos vacant . (Lat.) They seem to have been little more than row- 
boats, and a voyage to Goa in one of them would have been hazardous enough. 

8 See Genelli's Life of St. Ignatius (Eng. Trans.), p. 267 seq, 

19^ St. Francis Xavier. 

(xix.) To Francis Mancias, 

I was delighted to learn what your letter tells me about 
you. I can see from it how great are the fruits of your zeal 
where you are. May our Lord Whom we serve prosper your 
diligence in the future also, and give you in His mercy suffi- 
cient strength to make you equal to a continuance of your 
exertions, so as to bring always to greater and greater perfec- 
tion the good you have done, and, in short, to persevere cour- 
ageously to the end, and so entirely overcome the obstacles 
and troubles which you may have to meet ! 

To hear as I do that our Christians are persecuted and 
oppressed both by the heathen and by the Portuguese, is a 
thing which wounds my heart to the very core, so atrocious 
and so mischievous is it. But I have had so much of this sort 
of thing, that if, as they say, the sting of such sorrows could 
be dulled by frequent practice, I ought long ago to have lost 
all feehng about it. Somehow I cannot find any relief or alle- 
viation for this misery in the medicine of habit and lapse of 
time. It racks me with intense pain every time that I either 
see for myself or hear from others how these tender sucklings 
oi the Church are exposed to every kind of violence and out- 
rage from the very persons in whom such conduct is most 
shameful — how, new and fresh as they are in the faith, like 
iniant children in the holy religion they have adopted, and 
when they ought to be indulgently cherished and nursed up by 
kindness on the part of their elder brothers, rather than left 
in neglect and contempt, or even subjected to violence and 
injury by them., they are cut to pieces and plundered by savage 
attacks, which no efforts we can make for their protection are 
able to delay, much less to avert. Wherever I go I carry this 
grief like a pain which eats out my heart. I heard three days 
ago from the Patangatins of a most wicked act of violence 
— the seizure of several slave girls — committed at Punical by 
certain Portuguese. As soon as I heard the miserable news 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 197 

I wrote to the Bishop's vicars at Coulan^ and Cochin, begging 
them earnestly to publish a threat of the major excommuni- 
cation against the ravishers, and to make a public inquiry who 
they are, that their names may be known, their prey rescued 
from them, and the penalty enjoined by the law inflicted on 
them to warn others by their example. 

[However, all his indignation against ihese Portuguese mis- 
creants does not prevent him from descending to minute prac- 
tical matters, such as the provision for the hoy Matthew, of 
whom Mancias was probably frequently complaining — perhaps 
not without reason — and the correction of a mistake in the 
translation of the Credo made by Mancias himself] 

Do not forget to give Matthew all he wants for his cloth- 
ing. And do all you can by showing him all the kindness of 
an indulgent father, to attach him to yourself. In that way 
you will make him willing to live with you. You know he is 
free and his own master, and he can be attached to our com- 
munity only by the bonds of affection. When he was with 
me, I took all possible pains to keep his affection, by showing 
him almost the tenderness of a mother, and I should very much 
wish that you would do the same. 

In your translation of the Apostles' Creed there is some- 
thing which I think it well to tell you. It is not right to trans- 
late the words Credo in Deum by the word Enaku-venum ; for 
in their dialect the word venum answers to volo^ I will, I want. 
Thus you see at once that it won't do to say, Volo i?i. I think 
you should use the word vichnam'^^ instead of venum. That 
word answers in the language of the country to the Latin word 

9 Coulan, now Quilon, lies about halfway between Cape Comorin and Cochin, 
on the western side of the peninsula, and consequently on the Travancore 
coast. There was a Portuguese station there, and it was the most important 
port south of Cochin. It was the scene, as we shall see, of one of Francis 
Xavier's most remarkable miracles. 

10 Baldoeus, a Dutch writer of the next century, who was present at many 
of the battles in which this part of India was conquered by his countrymen from 
the Portuguese, and afterwards settled there as a Protestant pastor, gives a 
short account of the Malabar tongue, which includes the Our Father and Creed 
in that dialect. The word there used for ' I believe in' is written by him vichu- 

98 'St. Francis Xavier. 

Credo. Again, in that other article of the Creed where the 
Passion of Jesus Christ is spoken of, take care not to use the 
words Vaopinale: the people here use them generally in a sense 
which includes some notion of coercion. Now Jesus Christ did 
not suffer of necessity, but of His own accord and free will. 

When any who are passing from the Fisheries come to where 
you are, lose no time in visiting the sick among them, and wher- 
ever you go take a boy with you as you go from cottage to 
cottage to recite over them the prayers which you find inserted 
in the written instructions I left you. After these prayers and 
the service content yourself by reading once the usual passage 
of the GospeL For the rest, remember always to show great 
signs of charity in your intercourse with these people, making 
it a point of careful study to win them to love you in return. 
I should be very glad if you could tell me that none of them 
now drink arrack or carve idols, and that they all come on 
Sundays to recite the prayers. But if it should chance that we 
can't always have these things as we wish, we must not let our 
courage break down, but rather say to ourselves that if from 
the beginning of their conversion these poor wretched people 
had always had diligent teachers at hand to teach them what 
is necessary, as you are now doing, they would certainly have 
been infinitely better Christians than they are. 

May our Lord grant you all the consolation in this life and 
glory in the next that I desire for myself ! Farewell. 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


Munahpaud, March 27, 1544. 

We pass over a few pages, and we find St. Francis in com- 
parative quiet and good hope. The report about the Travan- 
core outrage must have died away, and he is expecting some 
communication from the Governor about the terms which he 
may offer to the Rajah of Travancore, who was seeking the 

vadieren. His work exists in the third volume of the EngUsh collection of 
Churchill, Collection of Voyages and Travels, London, 1745. The Creed is 
given in Malabar at p. 600. The Tamil words in the text would, we believe, 
be written differently now. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 199 

Portuguese alliance to ensure himself against his insurgent vas- 
sals. But another trouble is upon him, in the instability of 
Joam d'Artiaga, who had been named in a former letter as 
companion to Mancias himself. He seems to have left his 
post, and then to have left St. Francis. 

(xx.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother, 

It is a wonderful joy to me to hear of your 
having gone to visit the Christians scattered over the country 
whom I recommended to your care, and I am still more re- 
joiced to learn from persons who have come hither from your 
parts, of the abundant fruits that your visit has produced for 
the gain of souls and of the Church. 

I have been expecting today or tomorrow a message from 
the Governor, and if it brings the news which I hope, I shall 
not delay my journey to your mission, and I will turn out of 
the road as I go that I may meet you in passing wherever you 
may be. I long to see you extremely, though the eyes of my 
spirit are always upon you, even in absence. 

Joam d'Artiaga has gone off, carried away by some dis- 
turbing imagination which left him no peace of mind, and 
which came, as far as appears, from the Evil Spirit. But this 
he neither sees himself, nor goes the right way to learn. He 
told me when he left that he was going to Combutur^^ to teach 
the people there. He said also that he chose a place not far 
from where you are on purpose to be near you. He may have 
wished this at the time, but whether he will persevere in it I 
know not. You know what an inconstant fellow he is, and 
how every wind turns him. However, whatever happens, if he 
comes to see you, I hardly think it will be worth your while to 
spend any length of time in talking with him. 

11 Some of the translations of the letters have identified the place with Coim- 
batoor, in the Carnatic. But Coimbatoor is far to the north, and inland. The 
place here spoken of is evidently, as we may gather from the Letters, on the 
coast, not very far from the place whence St. Francis writes (Munahpaud). 

200 St, Francis Xavier, 

I have written to the Commandant to supply you with what 
you want, I have also begged Manuel da Cruz to lend you 
money as often as you want it, and he has very obligingly 
promised me to do so. Take great care of your health, for 
that is a necessary means in order for you to serve our Lord 
God so usefully. Tell Matthew it is my decided will that he 
should do v/hat you tell him, and diligently obey you in all 
things. I wish him to understand clearly that I have often 
promised him to be as a father and mother to him, it will de- 
pend on your giving him a good character ; but that otherwise, 
unless you can witness to me that you have found him per- 
fectly good and obedient, I sha'n't think that I have any reason 
to take so much trouble about him, nor make his interests of 
so much importance. I wish you, on the other hand, to give 
him liberally whatever clothing he may require. 

In your visitation of the scattered hamlets which you are 
now making, this is what I wish you to do. In each village 
that you come to, bid all the men assemble on one day, and 
on another all the women, and teach each of them separately all 
that they must know to escape sin ; and don't think it enough 
that they can repeat by heart in those assemblies the prayers 
of the Church, which all Christians commonly know, but make 
them say the same prayers morning and evening at home, and 
give them diligent orders to do this. Also baptize all that have 
not yet received baptism, adults as well as children. 

Meanwhile, that you may have no selfcomplacency in the 
fruits of your work which meet the eye, consider that if the 
mill has ground good wheat, all the glory is due to the great 
Master and Lord Who makes the stream flow which makes the 
millstone go round, and the whole machine move and work. 

May God our Lord keep you, and guide you and help you 
on ! Farewell. 

Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 
From Munahpaud, April 8th, 1544. FranCIS. 

There were the elements of a good deal of trouble in the 
wayward conduct of this Joam d'Artiaga, who was not a mem- 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 201 

ber of the Society and not strictly under regular obedience to 
Francis or any one else. He nnight get his friends into some 
conflict with the native authorities, and they were sure to have 
the credit of any eccentricities of which he might be guilty. 
We shall be glad to find further on that he seems to have come 
round again, won, probably, by the influence exercised upon 
him by Francis in some personal interview. The letter which 
has last been quoted was written on the Tuesday in Holy 
Week, and the provisions which it mentions for the support 
of Mancias seem to fall in with the conjecture that Francis was 
now meditating an excursion into some new part of the coun- 
try. The next two letters are written from different spots, the 
exact position of which, as well as of the post at which Man- 
cias himself was stationed, it is impossible to identify. Francis 
seems to have been moving about the country towards Travan- 
core, and to have meant to meet Mancias on his way, then to 
have proceeded to Tuticorin, which, as we have said, was about 
the centre of the Fishery Coast opposite Ceylon, on account 
of some dissensions between the natives, which had to be 
settled for fear of their growing mischievous. With this short 
commentary, we must leave the three letters which follow to 
speak for themselves. 

(xxi.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I long immensely to see you, and I have reason to 
hope that God in His mercy will soon grant me my prayer. 
Meantime not a day passes that I do not watch you in spirit. 
I doubt not that it is the same with you, and that we continu- 
ally enjoy the presence of one another in heart. Now, for the 
love you have to God, write, I pray, and tell me about yourself 
and all the Christians ; how you are, what you are doing, how 
all your affairs are going on. And I wish you to tell me all 
minutely and precisely. Here I am, a whole week waiting for 
a Pula from Travancore. I don't think he will fail, for he wrote 
to say that he should come within that time. How am I my- 

202 St, Francis Xavier. 

self, you ask ? Well, my heart is strong with a lively confidence 
in the goodness of God, that something will come of this inter- 
view which will have somewhat to do with His own service and 
honour. Whatever comes of it, I will let you know at once, 
that you may give thanks to God our Lord. I am writing to 
the Patangatins to build the chapel of green branches. I used 
to think it a good plan to assemble the women in the church 
on Saturday morning, as they do at Munahpaud, and the men 
on Sunday. But I leave all to your discretion. When you 
want to write to the Commandant to supply any need that you 
have, do not wait till you are in extreme necessity, but give 
him notice in good time beforehand, so that if he requires 
some little space to provide what you want, you may not have 
to suffer the pangs of destitution meanwhile. 

As to Joam d'Artiaga, I should be glad to hear from you 
where he is, and whether he is serving God. I am very much 
afraid that he will not persevere as the interests of God's king- 
dom and His greater glory require. You know how inconstant 
he is. The Father who is with me is quite well, and so am I. 
Tell the boy, I mean Matthew, from me, to go on being good, 
to speak up when he repeats at the catechism what you have 
taught him and to pronounce the words well. When I come 
to see you, I am going to bring him a little present which I 
know he will be delighted with. Write me word whether the 
children come regularly to say their prayers together at the 
appointed time, and how many of them can say them rightly by 

I want you never to spare words or paper in telling me 
about these things very particularly. And give your letters to 
the first person you come across, who is coming this way, to 
bring to me. 

May the Lord be with you, as I pray that He may be with 
me ! 

Your most afFectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


Livare, April 23d, 1544. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 203 

(xxii.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

To-day, the first of May, I have got your letters. 
I can't tell you on paper how much pleasure I have had in 
reading them. I have been ill the last four or five days with 
a burning and constant fever and have been bled twice. Now, 
by the grace of God, I am better. I have almost lost all re- 
collection of the illness I have just gone through, in the joy of 
the good news you give me. 

I hope with God's help to go to you at Punical next week. 
We thought the Pula of Travancore would be here today, at 
least tomorrow morning. When I am with you I will tell you 
what has passed with him. May our Lord God grant that 
something may result from it by which we may advance His 
service. Father Francis Coelho is sending you two umbrellas. 
As I shall so soon be able to see you I have no more to say 
now except my usual prayer that our Lord God may be pleased 
to help us with His grace, so that we may serve Him faithfully. 

Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


Nare, May ist, 1544. 

(xxiii.) To Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

God, from Whom nothing is hidden, knows how 
much happier I should be spending a few days with you than 
to be kept for the same time at Tuticorin. But as it is necessary 
for me to remain here awhile, in order to settle certain quarrels 
which are setting the people here by the ears in a way that 
threatens danger, we must both of us be willing to postpone 
the consolation of seeing one another, which we have been 
longing for, to the great advantage which may be expected to 
the service of God from this peace which I hope to make, and 

204 St, Francis Xavien 

we must rejoice that we are to be, not where we might wish to 
be, but where the most holy will of our Lord God and the in- 
terests of His kingdom and of His greater glory require. I 
must again and again pray you, do not get angry with these 
poor folk, however much their faults and frailties move your 
bile. I know what an extreme annoyance it is to be per- 
petually interrupted, when one is thoroughly absorbed in some 
work, by persons calling one away to attend to their own busi- 
ness, which is all they care for. Never mind, gulp down their 
importunities, keep a quiet mind all the time, and lend your- 
self tranquilly to the occupations which come of themselves to 
you from every side. Just do what you can do, and what you 
can't do now, let it go or put it off, and, when you cannot give 
them satisfaction in deed, take care to make it up in word, ex- 
cusing yourself kindly, saying that you are not as able to help 
them as you could wish, and if you can't give them what they 
want, give them some hope of it in the future — a thing which 
generally softens people when they are disappointed as to 
getting what they desire. You owe great thanks to our Lord 
God, and I suppose you give them, for placing you where you 
can't be idle if you would, where so many affairs surround 
and besiege you at every moment with something to be done, 
one upon another, but where — what is the sweetest of all con- 
diments to any toil, however great — everything of this kind 
which besets you is clearly a call which belongs to the service 
of God. 

I send Peter to you, and do you send us Antonio in return, 
as soon as he is well, which we hope may be in six days or a 
week. I have sent to Manuel da Cruz a careful letter, pressing 
him both by entreaties and arguments to make haste about 
finishing the church. 

Send me my little case^^ by the first boat that sets out for 
this place. I shall get through the work I have here on hand 
as soon as possible, and then be off to you ; for in truth I 
long much more, I think, than you suppose, to stay and talk 

^ Capsulam. It may have been a satchel in which he carried what he 
wanted for the celebration of mass on his journeys. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 205 

with you for some days. Let me know by letter at once what- 
ever you want either of help or advice. You will be sure of 
finding a messenger, there are so many going to and fro daily. 
Bear these people, as it were, on your shoulders, treat them with 
unwearied patience and longsuffering tolerance, keep them from 
evil and advance them in good as much as you can, and be 
content. And then, after all, if you find some whom you can- 
not win to their duty by indulgence and kindness, consider 
that the moment is come for that work of mercy which consists 
in the timely chastisement of those who deserve punishment, 
and who cannot be driven to good except by severity. 

May God help you, as I pray that He may assist myself ! 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 

Tuticorin, May 14th, 1544. FranciS. 

After this last letter the correspondence with Mancias is 
interrupted for more than a month (May 14 — June 20), and 
there is a similar break later on, as we have no letter between 
September 29 and November 8. In fact, the letters are ex- 
tremely irregular in their distribution; sometimes several are 
crowded together within a few days, at others, as we have 
said, long intervals separate them. When we consider the 
evident care with which Mancias has preserved what remains 
to us, it seems unlikely that he received many more. The 
probable solution of the apparent difficulty lies in remember- 
ing that the care of the Fishery Coast itself, which involved 
frequent correspondence with Mancias, Coelho, and the other 
assistants of Francis Xavier, was only a part, and even only an 
occasional part, of his occupation at this time, and that he was 
very frequently at a distance from Munahpaud, Punical, and 
Tuticorin, which seem to have been places where he had the 
appliances necessary for maintaining a correspondence, and that 
he wrote his letter to Mancias when he found himself at these 
spots, to which it is very possible that the answers and other 
communications to him would be addressed. Any one who 
reads cursorily over the series of letters on which we are now 

2o6 St, Francis Xavier, 

engaged might think that St. Francis was fixed on the Fishery- 
Coast for nearly the whole of the year 1544. This, however, 
would be a mistaken conclusion, for his own letters to Europe, 
written early in the year 1545, and in which he speaks of 
the progress of the Gospel during the previous year, mention 
other parts, as the coast around Coulan, and the kingdom of 
Travancore, as the scene of numerous conversions, and we 
know in the same way that he visited Ceylon, and towards the 
end of the year sailed up the whole western coast of India to 
the extreme north, in order to meet the Governor at Cambaia, 
returning thence to Cochin, from which place the letters are 
written. The letters to Mancias, therefore, are strictly letters 
confined to the business of the moment as far as Mancias was 
himself concerned in it, and looked upon in this light, they 
give us an idea of the extreme activity of St. Francis at this 
time, when the affairs with which they deal formed but a part 
of his work. The biographers of Francis have not thought 
it necessary to dwell at any length on the letters now before 
us, probably for the reason already hinted at, that the more 
important labours of this year are not mentioned in them. 
These letters are valuable to us chiefly on account of the inti- 
mate knowledge which they afford us of the character of their 
writer, of which, indeed, in this respect, they form a monument 
almost unique. We must fill up the picture of the work of 
the year very mainly from other sources. 

The most prominent part of that work was undoubtedly 
the conversion, in great measure, of the inhabitants of the 
kingdom of Travancore, of which we have already said some- 
thing. It cannot be ascertained except conjecturally at what 
period of the year Francis first entered the kingdom, but we 
may perhaps place it conveniently at that point where the 
letters to Mancias break off for a month, without thereby im- 
plying that even at an earlier period Francis may not have 
preached in parts of Travancore. But the letters which we 
have already inserted show him to have been expecting some 
communication from the Court, and to have been inclined to 
defer a projected visit to the Rajah himself on account of the 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 207 

rumour about some Portuguese outrage. This visit to the royal 
residence may have been put off, and yet Francis may have 
preached in the country with the leave of the Prince. In a 
letter written early in the following year he mentions having 
baptized as many as ten thousand in the space of a month, 
and his giving this exact measure of time would fit in very 
well with the conjecture that the weeks between the middle 
of May and the middle of June were spent in this undertak- 
ing. The letter to which we refer gives also an account of 
his method of proceeding, which is almost the same with his 
method on the Fishery Coast, if we allow for the important 
difference, that in the case of the latter he had to do with 
people already nominally Christians. The people of Travan- 
core were partly Mussulmans and partly idolaters. We must 
suppose, from an expression in a letter to the King of Por- 
tugal, in which the ' coasts of Coulan' are spoken of as being 
under his authority, that the Portuguese exercised some sort 
of power along the whole seaboard, and not only in their for- 
tified settlements ; but the whole country, except the fringe of 
land along the sea, was under the Rajah, who was an ally of 
Portugal. In accordance with his custom, Francis would en- 
deavour to obtain, as St. Augustine asked from Ethelbert 
on his landing in England, the Rajah's acquiescence in his 
preaching to his subjects. This seems to have been readily 
given, and the conversions followed rapidly. No doubt the 
fame of the life and miracles of St. Francis had already spread 
far and wide through the whole coast of India : and the Pro- 
cesses assure us that neither the gift of tongues nor the other 
great signs of an Apostolate which had been seen on the Fishery 
Coast were wanting in Travancore. Village after village re- 
ceived him with joy; and after the instruction and baptism of 
the inhabitants, the heathen temples were pulled down and 
the idols broken to pieces. As he went on he left behind him 
everywhere a written abridgement of Christian doctrine, and 
made provision for its. regular teaching to the children and in 
the weekly assemblies of the new converts. By the end of the 
year it is said that no less than forty-five infant churches had 

2o8 St. Francis Xavier, 

been founded in this way. He was accompanied in his mission 
for six months of the year by the Paul Vaz, mentioned a few 
pages above, who returned to Europe some years later, and 
whose report as to the method of life and preaching of Francis 
is preserved to us by Bartoli. He mentions the number just 
given, of forty-five churches founded in Travancore. Francis, 
he says, always went barefoot, with a poor torn cassock and 
a sort of cap of black stuff on his head. He was always called 
the Great Father, and the Rajah had issued an edict that his 
own brother the Great Father was to be obeyed as himself, 
and that any one was at Hberty to become Christian. The 
Rajah gave him large sums of money, the whole of which he 
spent in the relief of the poor. He could speak the language 
excellently, though he had never learnt it, and the people 
flocked to hear him, five or six thousand at a time, so that he 
was obliged to preach from a tree in the open fields, where 
also he used to celebrate mass in the presence of multitudes, 
under a canopy made of the rails of the boats. When he left 
the country, it was in great part Christian. 

This result, however, was of course not obtained within 
the short space of time of which we are now speaking. Not 
long after the middle of June we find St. Francis again on the 
Fishery Coast, just in time to hear of the ravages of the Vad- 
houger,!^ who are called in the translations of the letters and 
in the current lives of St. Francis, the Badages. These terrible 
brigands — for it seems most natural to call them by that name 

13 See P6re Bertrand, La Mission du Maduri (Paris, 1548), t. ii. p. 2. The 
many various statements concerning them may not be really conflicting. They 
were a tribe from the north (Bisnaghur), settled in the interior of the kingdom 
of Madura, which lay east and northeast of Travancore and the Fishery Coast. 
At the time of which we speak, they had an independent territory — the state of 
Pandi — but the Naicker or Rajah of Madura was their immediate sovereign, and 
they were commissioned, or allowed by him, to collect tribute due to him from 
the neighbouring states under his supremacy. We have no absolute certainty 
as to the relations, in the time of St. Francis, between Madura and Travancore, 
which may often have shifted, and as Travancore seems to have been in an ex- 
ceptional state of relative prosperity and influence, it may easily be supposed that 
these vassals of the Rajah of Madura may have been to some nominal extent 
under the authority of the Raj^ of Travancore. Madura seems to have been 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 209 

— were probably only too glad of so good an excuse for plun- 
dering the villages on the Fishery Coast as that which was 
afforded them by the fact that the inhabitants had become 
Christians, which in their eyes amounted to a desertion to the 
common enemies of all the independent natives of India — the 
Portuguese. They had fallen suddenly, a horde of well-armed 
horsemen, upon the feeble and defenceless natives, before they 
had time to collect in one spot to oppose force by force, and 
the issue is related in the following letter : 

(xxiv.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I arrived on Saturday evening at Munahpaud. 
On the road at Combutur I met with very sad news about 
the Christians at Cape Comorin, which has made me quite 
wretched. The Badages have fallen upon them with the 
sword, and driven them from their homes, plundered them, 
made a great number of them prisoners, and the rest have 
taken refuge in the caves of the rocks which run out into the 
sea, where they are perishing of hunger and thirst. I am going 
to their help as fast as I can, and set sail this very night with 
twenty tones from Munahpaud. Pray to God for these poor 
creatures and for ys ; and see above everything that the chil- 
dren pray to God for us. 

At Combutur the inhabitants have promised me to build a 
church, and Manuel de Lima has promised to give a hundred 

generally the more dominant state of the two. In 1609 the Paravas were tribu- 
taries of Madura (letter of F. A. Laerzio, quoted by Bertrand, 1. c). In 1700 
we find Travancore also tributary to Madura [Lettres Edifiaiites, t. x. p. 77), 
and the Vadhouger, or Badages, entering the territory of the former year after 
year to exact the tribute. F. Organtino, much nearer to the time of which we are 
speaking {1568), speaks of the Badages as people from Narsinga (a kingdom 
north of Madura, lying close to Bisnaghur), and calls them 'regiorum fcrme 
vectigalium exactores' (Maffei, Sel. Epist. ex India, 1. iv. p. 431). If we suppose 
these curious freebooters to have had a special hatred to everything Christian 
and Portuguese, we have exactly the conditions required to explain the whole 
itory concerning them contained in the hves and letters of St. Francis. 
VOL. I. • P 

2IO St. Francis Xavier. 

fanams of his own money to help the building. Go over there 
and press on and arrange the work. You may set out on 
Thursday or Friday, and next week, God willing, you shall 
go to visit the Christians who are scattered up and down the 
country between Punical and Alendale ; go into each cottage, 
baptize all whom you find who have not yet received baptism, 
and give to all the instructions and advice they want. Take 
particular and vigilant care to baptize everywhere the new- 
born infants. See to whether the persons who have to teach 
the children and to assemble them at appointed hours, do 
their duty. 

Charge Manuel da Cruz, who is living at Combutur, to pay 
great attention to those two Christian villages of Careans, tak- 
ing diligent care, in the first place, to extinguish at once any 
rising quarrels among them by reconciling the parties while the 
matter is yet in its infancy ; and in the second place, to pre- 
vent any one from carving idols or getting drunk with arrack. 
Every Sunday let the people all be assembled to repeat their 
prayers and hear the Catechism ; the men in the morning, the 
women in the evening. 

If Francis Coelho be with you, tell him to come hither at 
once, and that this is my order. 

May God keep you in His holy protection ! Farewell. 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 

From Munahpaud, Monday, ^^ June i6th, 1544. FRANCIS. 

*i It is necessary to suppose some of the dates of these letters to have become 
confused in transcription. The Latin date given for this letter is unusually pre- 
cise, 'hS.c ferii secundi, xii. Kal. Jul. (June 20) 1544.' St. Francis hardly ever 
gives the days of the week, but it is probable that the date of Monday is exact, 
as he would naturally set out to the relief of the Christians as soon as he^could, 
and he arrived at Munahpaud on Saturday evening. But June 20th was on 
a Friday, not a Monday, so we must alter the date to June i6th. The letter 
(p. 212) dated June 30th speaks of his return to Munahpaud, after having failed 
to reach the Cape, and having been a week at sea, as ' last Tuesday' — tliat June 24th, and would just leave a week between the two letters. The 
intermediate letter dated Virandapatanam, June 22, would seem to have been 
written at a moment in the struggle to get along the coast where Francis may 
have put to land. The boats were sometimes towed along shore, so that he 
might easily be on shore to write a short note. This is evidently very hurried. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 211 

Francis Xavier seems to have set out at once for the Cape 
by sea, but to have failed in reaching it. The next two letters 
carry on the history. 

(xxv.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

This to tell you that, by God's grace, I am very 
well. May He Who is pleased to give me health also grant 
that I may use it in His service ! 

Let me know daily how things are in your parts, how your 
affairs get on, what the Christians are about, and so on. Work 
as hard as you can to get the church built. Let me hear at 
once when it is finished. I send with this a letter to the Com- 
mandant, which please to put into the hands of a very trusty 
messenger. Again and again I beg of you to give your first 
attention to the education of the children. And I am also 
very anxious that you should take the greatest care to baptize 
yourself every newborn infant as soon as it is born, or as soon 
as possible, that Paradise may be peopled by their souls at 
least, most of which leave their Httle bodies before the age 
of reason, since we cannot get the grownup folk to go there, 
either by punishment or promises of good. 

Greet Manuel da Cruz much for me. I exhort Matthew 
to persevere and to improve in all good. Take pains to show 
yourself kind and affable to the people, particularly to the 
magistrates and to the village chiefs — Adigares, as they are 
called. May our Lord be with you always Farewell. 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 
From Virandapatanam,^'^ June 22, 1544. rRANCIS. 

This conjecture would account for the unusual announcement that the writer 
was in good health — notwithstanding the sufferings to which he had been ex- 
posed. [It is as well to state that we here omit a letter inserted in the Latin 
collection. It is given in the notes.] 

15 Probably Viranda and Patanam — perhaps begun at one place and ended 
at the other— unless this was really a place combining the two names, Viranda- 

212 St. Francis Xavier, 

The next letter relates the issue of the unavailing attempt 
made by Francis to reach the Cape by sea. 

(xxvi.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

On Tuesday last I came back to Munahpaud, 
and God our Lord knows what I have gone through in my 
voyage. I had set off with twenty tones to comfort the Chris- 
tians whom the Badages have driven into flight, who, as I was 
told, were dying miserably of hunger and thirst amongst the 
rocks which bound the shores of Cape Comorin ; but I met 
with strong winds from the opposite quarter, and neither by 
rowing nor by towing could we make head against the sea, and 
I was not able once to get a single vessel to the Cape. If these 
winds fall, I shall go there again to take what relief I can to 
these poor creatures in their extreme distress ; for a man must 
be harder than iron if he could give up making all eff"orts in 
his power to relieve the miserable case of these people, who 
are our brethren in the worship of Christ — a case I really 
think the most calamitous that can be found anywhere. Many 
of the fugitives arrive every day at Munahpaud without cloth- 
ing, nearly dead with hunger, and destitute of everything. I 
am writing to the Patangatins of Combutur, of Punical, and of 
Tuticorin, to collect for them some little alms, and get them 
sent to us : but bidding them, however, to exact nothing from 
the poor, but simply to ask the captains of vessels, and others 
who have some means, of their own free will to contribute to 
so pious a work. But though I have enjoined this, still, as I 
know what sort of persons the Patangatins are, I very much 
fear that they may make this an opportunity for extorting 
money from the poor. 

I should like you to tell me how the building of the church 
at Combutur is getting on. Let me hear all particulars, and 
whether Manuel de Lima has yet paid the hundred fanams 
that he promised for the work. I should like you to give me 
at the same time a long and full account how your excursion 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 213 

through the villages and your instructions of the outlying farms 
went off, in what state you found the Christians, how you left 
them, whether the men whom we have appointed to instruct 
the children throughout the country everywhere do their duty 
well. I have been most faithful in paying them regularly the 
salary which was promised them, but I can't myself watch over 
their behaviour when I am away. So I wish you to let me 
know about this accurately, and also about yourself, how your 
health is, how you find your present abode, what is going on 
there, and how religion fares. 

We were a whole week at sea, and you know by experience 
what it is to be on board a tone, especially with violent winds 
blowing in your teeth, as we had, — and we couldn't make our 
way against them by any skill or force whatever. 

May God our Lord protect you ever ! Farewell. 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, June 30th, 1544. 

After this letter the correspondence fails us again for a 
month, and we are therefore unable to trace the footsteps of 
Francis Xavier by its aid. He seems to have been out of reach 
of Mancias, and to have found letters from him when he him- 
self returned to Munahpaud. We conjecture that they were 
out of reach of one another during this time, because the next 
letter which we shall insert, which is dated at the beginning of 
August, carries on the narrative of the relief of the Christians 
from the point at which the last leaves it, though several weeks 
passed between the two letters. We also suppose that during 
this interval Francis again plunged into the kingdom of Tra- 
vancore.^*^ Indeed, it is probable that we must fix upon this 
interval as the time for one of the most famous actions of the 
Saint in this country. The Vadhouger, or Badages, of whom 
we have already heard so much, seem to have either continued 
their raid westwards at some little distance inland, or to have 

16 In the next letter, where he speaks of the Christians to whose relief he 
had set out, he does not say that he had taken them to Munahpaud, but that 
he had provided for their being taken thither (furavi deportandos). 

214 ^^' Fj'^ncis Xavier. 

returned after a short interval and shown an intention of fall- 
ing upon the villages on the western slopes of the mountains 
which end in Cape Comorin. About four leagues north of the 
Cape lay the city of Cotate, which a century and a half later 
than this time was of considerable size, but may in the time 
of St. Francis have been only a large village. A church, we 
believe, still exists on the plain a few miles north of Cotate, 
which commemorates the heroic action of which we speak. 
From the account given in Bartoli, it would appear that the 
invasion of Travancore was made by a more regular and for- 
midable army than had been collected for the ravaging of the 
defenceless pearl fisheries along the south-eastern coast of the 
promontory. The Naicker of Madura was himself with them 
and in command, and the Rajah of Travancore himself was in 
motion with a considerable force of his own subjects to resist 
the aggressors. However this may have been, the attack was 
directed principally against the villages of new Christians, and 
Francis Xavier immediately flew to their assistance. When 
the Processes for his canonization came to be formed at Co- 
chin, more than a dozen witnesses came forward to testify to 
the fact that the whole country was full of the story how, with 
a crucifix in his hand, he had gone forth alone to meet the 
invaders, and severely rebuked them in the name of God, how 
the front ranks stopped on their march before him, and how, 
when they were urged on by those behind them and encour- 
aged by their leaders, the soldiers replied that they could go 
no further, because a man of great height, of terrible and ma- 
jestic presence, in a black robe, overawed and frightened theip, 
that no one could bear the fire that flashed from his face and 
eyes. The leaders themselves fell under the same overpower- 
ing influence, and the whole army turned upon its march and 
left the Christians in peace.^^ 

17 See Bartoli, Asia, t. i. 1. i. p. 72. He is copied by Massei, Vita de S. 
Francesco Xav. 1. ii. c. 2, and Bouhours, 1. ii. Bartoli extracted his facts from 
the Processes ; and the references, number and character of the witnesses, and 
other details are given in the Relatio super sanctitate et miraculis F. Xaverii, 
written at Rome by the Auditors of the Rota in the time of Paul V. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 215 

We shall hear more of these freebooters presently. Francis 
may probably have spent the greater part of July in preaching 
in Travancore, baptizing heathen, and instructing his converts. 
This country became the scene of a number of his most won- 
derful miracles. He is said to have raised four persons from 
the dead. In these cases no particulars are given. There are 
other instances of the same power in him, of which we have 
full details, and it may be worth while to relate them shortly 
in the words in which the evidence is summed up in the Rela- 
tion prepared in the time of Paul V. The scene of the first of 
these miracles was Mutan, a town, as it seems, on the coast, 
where, as he was passing through the street one day, he met a 
funeral procession, as our Lord met that which was bearing to 
the grave the widow's son. The body was that of a youth 
who had died of a malignant fever, and had been kept twenty- 
four hours unburied in a shroud, * as the manner is of that 
country,' says the writer before us. When Francis ' met the 
bier and saw the dead youth, led by the prayers of the parents 
and pitying their bereavement, he knelt down, and raising his 
eyes to heaven, prayed to God for the life of the lad ; then he 
sprinkled the body with holy water and bade them cut open 
the funeral shroud, and when the body was seen, he made the 
sign of the Cross over it, and taking him by the hand, bade 
him in the name of Jesus to live, and at once the youth rose 
up alive, and he gave him sound and in good health to his 
parents.i^ And they that stood by,' he adds, ' marvelled, and 
held what had been done for a great miracle, praising the 
holiness of Francis, and in honour and memory of the deed 
erected a cross on the spot and held there a festival.' 

The other miracle of the same kind took place at Coulan 
or Quilon on the coast. Francis had been for some time 
preaching there without producing much effect upon the peo- 

18 This miracle, as well as that which follows, has been selected by the 
Auditors of the Rota as resting upon incontrovertible evidence. It rests on the 
testimony of two witnesses whose names are given, Emanuel Gago and Joam 
Audicondam, who were present and saw what passed, one other who had heard 
of the miracle from the person himself who was raised from the dead, and several 
others who bore witness to the notoriety of the fact. 

2i6 5/. Francis Xavier. 

pie. Coulan was a seaport — a place in which men of all na- 
tions met for purposes of traffic, and where the Christian law 
was frequently and openly dishonoured by those who bore the 
Christian name. Francis felt himself baffled by the obstinacy 
of the hearts which he was trying to soften. He was in a 
church, for the Portuguese had a station there, and a man had 
been buried there the day before. He paused in his sermon, 
and prayed awhile silently with tears. Then he addressed his 
audience with burning words, telling them that God was pleased 
to raise the dead in order to convert them. He bade them 
open the tomb, take out the corpse, and tear open the shroud 
in which it was wrapped. Then he prayed again, and the 
dead man rose up to life. A large number were converted, 
praising and blessing God for the holiness and power He had 
given to His servant.^^ 

We must take these miracles as but specimens — though 
no doubt splendid and remarkable in their kind — of the signs 
which waited upon the Apostolate of Francis Xavier in Travan- 
core. His life at this time must have been extremely active, 
for we know him often to have been elsewhere, and yet we 
have seen that the fruits of his preaching during this year 
remained in the establishment of as many as forty-five Chris- 
tian communities or villages in the country. Towards the end 
of July he is again on the Fishery Coast, and writes to Man- 
cias a letter which continues the subject of his last. 

(xxvii.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

May God our Lord be pleased to watch over and 
keep you ever, and grant you good health and great strength, 
that you may spend all for Him ! Your last letter, which I 
have just received, gave me the greatest pleasure, inasmuch as 
it gave me manifest proofs of your great diligence in fortifying 

18 This miracle rests upon the testimony of Diego Fernandez, who was pre- 
sent and saw the whole, and of several other witnesses who testify to the noto- 
riety of this fact. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 217 

and preparing the people against the invasion of the Badages, 
that they may not be suddenly taken by surprise by them. 

I went off, after all, by land to the Cape, to visit, those un- 
happy Christians who have survived the plundering and cruel- 
ties of the Badages. A more miserable sight could nowhere 
be seen; faces white with exhaustion, livid with hunger; the 
fields covered with dead and dying, the disfigured corpses 
which had had no burial, or the poor creatures who were at the 
point of death from wounds untended or sickness unrelieved. 
There were old men there utterly powerless from age or hunger, 
trying in vain to drag themselves along — there were women 
giving birth to children in the public roads, their husbands 
moving about them, but unable to help them, so universal and 
common to all was the very extremity of destitution. If you 
had seen this as I did, your heart would, I am sure, have been 
pierced with a pang of pity you would never have got over. 
I had all the poor taken to Munahpaud, where the greater part 
of this most afflicted people is now collected for us to take care 
of as well as we can. Pray to God that He may touch the 
hearts of the rich with some mercy for so many miserable crea- 
tures, pining away in the utmost distress. 

I hope to go on Wednesday to Punical. Don't relax your 
watchfulness for the people, I entreat you, until it is well ascer- 
tained the Badages have gone back to their own territories. 
Tell Antonio Fernandez lo Grosso and the Patangatins of Old 
Chael that I expressly forbid the new colony to go and haunt 
the old place from which they came, that I will severely punish 
them if they attempt to do so. Take pains to tell Manuel da 
Cruz and Matthew also that I send them much love and all 
kinds of good wishes. 

May our Lord be with you, and may He strengthen us 
by His grace, so that we may serve Him with all our might ! 

Your brother in Jesus Christ, 

From Munahpaud, August ist, 1544. FranCIS. 

From the mention of the Badages in this letter it is clear 

2 1 8 5/. Francis Xavier, 

that the danger from them had by no means passed away, and 
indeed the subsequent letters are full of them. Early in the 
same month of August he writes to Mancias, who seems to 
have been himself in danger, and to have desired to retire from 
so arduous a post. He promises him that he would never him- 
self rest until he had set him at liberty, if he should happen 
to be taken prisoner. He then tells him that he has sent a 
priest to warn the people in the parts where Mancias is, having 
received private information that the Badages are again on the 
move against them. 

(xxviii.) To Francis Mancias, 
May God be with you ever ! 

My dear Brother in Jesus Christ, 

The different kinds of news given me in your 
letter affected me each in its own way when I read it. I felt 
the greatest delight in that part of it which tells me how you 
have gone through your late visitation of the villages with very 
great spiritual fruit ; but on the other hand, the mere mention 
of your being taken prisoner, which you tell me, and which, I 
see well enough, is possible, struck me with grief and raised a 
painful image before my mind. If that were to happen, I would 
never take a mom.ent's rest until God gave you back, which I 
should think would be very soon. ' Some of us, as you know, 
have had the experience of troubles and dangers of the kind. 
May all things turn out to the honour and glory of our God, 
wonderful in goodness and in power ! 

I have sent one of our priests into your parts, who is to 
tell all the villages to get their boats ready and launch them 
all along the coast, so that they may all embark and get out to 
sea before these savage brigands come down on them, for I 
have good grounds for thinking that they will soon be pouring 
down upon this country, as I am informed that they are arming 
themselves and assembling their forces, in order to lay waste 
the whole coast down to the water's edge. So I am told by one 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 1 1 9 

of the principal Canacars,2o a friend to the native Christians. 
I had sent to him a man with a letter addressed to the Rajah 
of Travancore, begging him to deliver it in person, and also 
to employ his favour with that prince, one of whose intimate 
friends he is, to get him to lay strict prohibitions on the Ba- 
dages, forbidding them to molest our unhappy Christians, any 
harm done to whom the Governor of India would consider 
done to himself, and would avenge it. 

I had reason to hope that he would do what I asked, for 
he is my friend, and as I have said, is well affected to the 
Christians, among whom he has several relations and connec- 
tions. He came ^himself to see me, not only to pay his respects, 
but to help me, offering all the assistance in his power very 
earnestly. I wrote to him that if the Badages were so uncon- 
trollable that the Rajah's authority was not enough to prevent 
their ravages, I begged that at least I might have timely notice 
given me of their intended invasion on the coast when it was 
about to take place, and so be able to send the Christians on 
board ship and get them out to sea, so as to escape by flight 
from massacre and spoliation by land. And now he has with 
great good faith given me notice that it is to be. 

I have also written to the Commandant, begging him to 
send one of the larger craft (' catures') well armed, to serve 
as a protection for all the boats of the Christians, which are 
quite unarmed. And do you over and over again enjoin on 
the inhabitants, and especially those most distant from the sea, 
to set faithful and watchful sentinels at the proper points to re- 
port how things are hour by hour, that they may not be caught 
by a night attack of the horsemen before they are able to get 
to the boats, which they have made ready, and set in safety 
off the shore. But even when you have told them all this as 
urgently as you can, I would have you put but very little con- 
fidence in their doing what you tell them. I know too well 
their laziness and obstinate stupidity, and I quite expect they 
will grudge spending two fanams to pay the necessary expenses. 
So do you by yourself, and by means of persons whom you can 

*o The Canacars were native officials, probably collectors of revenue. 

220 Sl Francis Xavier, 

trust, undertake all the watching and all the care, urging them 
to get the women and children on board the boats, which are 
already launched ; and take the opportunity of this time of 
calamity to require of them all, and especially of the weaker in 
sex and age, to have recourse to God by reciting their prayers. 
Fear is a grand teacher of prayer, especially when, as is the 
case with these poor folk, they have no one to look to for help 
but God alone. 

I have no writingpaper here. I left a good deal at your 
place in a box, and I shall be glad if you can send me enough 
for present use by a messenger with great despatch. I shall 
expect a letter from you by the same hand, to tell me whether 
the boats are already at sea, and whether the poor furniture 
and slender properties of the families who are in danger on 
land have been placed in them, with the wives and children. 
If this has not been done, let it be seen to immediately. Go 
in my name to Antonio Fernandez lo Grosso, and conjure 
him by his friendship for me to pour out the whole of the love 
he bears to me in the work of saving these poor wretches, and 
to use his authority in hastening their flight, and even forcing 
them to it, as the only chance of saving their lives and not 
only their liberty. I say, their lives and lifeblood, because as 
to those who are better off than the rest, the greedy robbers 
may perhaps look for more gain by having them ransomed 
and bought off, and so may carry them away alive ; but their 
avarice can expect nothing from the poor, and so these will 
be cruelly slaughtered. Again and again I insist, be sure to 
have sentinels on the watch, in many different places of the 
coast, all night, especially now that the moon is at the full 
and gives convenient light for any expedition by night. 

May God keep you under His protection, the only .protec- 
tion worth trusting to ! Farewell. 

Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 

From Munahpaud, August 3rd, 1544. FRANCIS. 

A fortnight later we find him writing again most urgently 
to Mancias to do all in his power to relieve the misery of the 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 1 2 1 

Christians. There was now danger in another quarter. Tuti- 
corin, to the north, on the eastern coast of the extremity of 
the peninsula of India, has been threatened. There have 
been disturbances of some sort, in which we gather that it 
is only too probable that the Portuguese — a small garrison, 
apparently, holding a fortress of some strength, rather than the 
whole town — have had something to do. Francis is afraid 
that all this will make the case of the Christians harder than 
ever. Reports reach him that some Portuguese have been 
wounded, if not slain. Mancias must have been at Tuticorin, 
or nearer to it than Francis, for the letter requires him to let 
him know how things are. Then there is a postscript : he has 
just heard that the Christians had been plundered and chased 
into a forest by the Badages. *We are overwhelmed with 
bad news from every side. God be praised always !' 

(xxix.) To Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I have another opportunity of writing, so I 
again urge upon you what I did this morning. I implore you 
again and again to relieve and console with every exertion in 
your power these unfortunate people in their deep distress; 
and also, what I shall count as the greatest kindness you can 
do me, in your charity to send me at once a faithful account of 
what has really taken place at Tuticorin. 

I very much Year that these troubles at Tuticorin may 
somehow add fresh ruin and misery to our poor Christians, 
who have already miseries enough to bear. People here are in 
such consternation with anxiety about impending calamities 
that no words can describe it; I could not bear to think, and 
I hope no one else could, of our abandoning these people at 
this moment of uncertainty and affliction. So do not go with 
Joam Artiaga where he wishes to take you, as long as there is 
any danger at all from the Badages where you are ; and when 
you have got any news about them, let me, I beseech you, 
have it from you at once. 

22 2 St. Francis Xavier, 

The Rajah of Travancore is sending a Brahmin to them, 
who takes with him the interpreter of our Commandant to try 
and persuade them to peace. No one knows what will be 
the result. We have both the envoys here at Munahpaud 
just about to embark. I am very desirous to know what has 
been going on with the Portuguese at Tuticorin; and again 
and again I entreat you to write to me the whole story mi- 
nutely and particularly, and to write at once ; as soon as you 
have any news, write it down and send it off. I am in a per- 
fect fever of anxiety and care and trouble, and nothing but 
letters from you can deliver me from it. There is a report 
here, that some Portuguese and Christians have been wounded 
or even killed ; and whether it is true or not, whether anything 
has happened, and what and how, I am burning for you to 
jtell me. As to your journey, we will either settle it when next 
we meet, or if the storm from the Badages should blow over 
first, I will write very soon and tell you what I think. 

May our Lord be ever with you ! Amen. 

- From Munahpaud, 19th August, 1544. 

At this very moment I have a letter from Guarim, in which, 
my dearest brother, he sends me word that the Christians have 
fled into the forest, after having been stripped of everything by 
the Badages, who have wounded one of them, as well as a 
heathen native. Bad news comes pouring in on all sides. 
God our Lord be praised for ever and ever ! 

Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


The next day he writes, evidently in answer to a letter from 
Mancias, speaking very severely of the complicity in the mis- 
fortunes of the Christians of some one who ought to have been 
on their side — probably the Portuguese commandant. He is 
mentioned in a later letter as having been the cause of some 
homicides at Tuticorin, and as having extorted money from 
natives who were afterwards put to death. Mancias, like the 
Apostles in the Gospel, has been inclined to call down the 
vengeance of heaven on the offender. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 223 

(xxx.) To Francis Mancias. 

May God be with you ! Amen. 

My dearest Brother, 

Those words of our Lord, Ife that is not with 
Me is agai?ist Me, will make you understand how destitute we 
here are of any friends to aid us in bringing this people to 
Jesus Christ. But we must not despond, for God at the end 
will render unto each one according to his deserts, and it is 
very easy for Him, when He pleases, to accomplish by means 
of a few what seemed to require the work of many. I say 
again and again, I feel far more of compassion for those who 
fight against God, than of any desire to call down greater 
vengeance on their heads — they are already miserable enough 
in the mere fact that they do so fight. Why should we draw 
down on them God's vengeance, which will certainly not fail 
at its own time ? And how severe are the punishments which 
God at last inflicts on His enemies, we see well enough, as 
often as we turn our mind's eye to the inextinguishable furnace 
of hell, whose fires are to rage throughout all eternity for so 
many miserable sinners. 

The Brahmin I wrote to you about yesterday is going to 
you with the Rajah's message to the Badages : do your very 
best, I entreat you, that he may find a ship ready to take him 
safely and quickly to Tuticorin. I adjure you, as you love 
God, to write me word fully at once and diligently, what has 
happened and is happening there ; I mean all about the Com- 
mandant, the Portuguese, the Christians of Tuticorin ; tell me 
all most distinctly, if you care to relieve me from very painful 

Say a great many kind things to Joam d'Artiaga, and also 
to Manuel da Cruz, from me. Tell Matthew that he is not 
to think he is working in vain ; I am getting ready for him 
a great many more good things than he expects or wishes for. 

May our Lord be with 3^ou ! Amen. 
From Munahpaud, August 20th, 1544. 

2 24 St, Francis Xavier, 

Pray, for the love of God, take care that the Brahmin 
meets with no delay in setting sail. Get the Commandant to 
receive him honourably, at least with kind words and looks. 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


Again we have another letter on the following day. Man- 
cias has been asking to be removed to a more secure spot. 
Francis tells him that he will send a priest in his stead as soon 
as his country is free from the alarm of the Badages : he is to 
go to Manaar, an island off Ceylon, of which we now hear for 
the first time, but which soon became famous in the Christian 
history of India. Francis himself is at Punical, where Man- 
cias had been at first stationed. He has no interpreter, but 
finds work enough to do in baptizing children and taking care 
of the sick and poor. He is going off to Tala, to comfort the 
sufferers from the late raid ; but the Badages have left his 
part of the coast free for the present. He hopes to reduce 
them to peace by the authority of the Rajah of Travancore. 
We give this letter, as well as another written on his return 
from Tala, which goes considerably into details as to his wish 
to visit the Rajah. 

(xxxi.) To Francis Mancias. 
May God be always with you ! Amen. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

Your last letter gladdened my heart, giving me 
so much news that I was anxious to have, and which it will be 
of use for me to know. I am still expecting to hear again 
from you that your people and the country about you are en- 
tirely safe from the Badages, and I beg you to tell me of this 
as soon as ever you can do so with truth. Then you will be 
able without danger, and without giving your present people 
any ground of complaint, to go elsewhere, where, as you know, 
there is a bright hope and fair occasion of doing something 
good for the service of God. I shall then send you Father 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 22^ 

Francis Coelho to take your present post. Thus you will be 
quite free, and will leave with the approval of all, and go where 
there is great expectation of fruitful labour for the glory of 
God, to baptize the natives of Careapatana, and work in other 
ways for the service of religion with the Carean people of 
Beadala and the ruler of those parts, whom they call the Mu- 
daliar. The Governor of the province of Negapatam has great 
influence and favour with the Rajah of Jafanapatam, under 
whose dominion the isles of Manaar lie, and his disposition is 
such that we may well hope that he will protect them with his 
favour with his sovereign. As soon, therefore, as the people 
where you are are in perfect tranquillity, and entirely free from 
all fear of the Badages^ you must send a messenger to let me 
know this, that I may send without further delay Francis Coelho 
with money, letters of introduction, where they are wanted, 
and written instructions, as to what I send you to Manaar 
to do, how It is to be done, and for how long. 

I recommend our brother Joam d'Artiaga most particularly 
to your kindness ; and write me word what he is in need of, 
that I may provide it duly for him. I am almost alone here, 
since Antonio has remained ill at Munahpaud, and what is 
very inconvenient, I am working in the midst of a people 
whose language I do not understand, and I have no inter- 
preter. The only shifts for an interpreter that I have had are 
Rodriguez, who is here now, and Antonio when he was here. 
You can tell yourself how much they know of our language. 
So you can easily imagine how I live here, what sort of in- 
structions I can give, when the persons who ought to explain 
to the people what I say don't understand me, nor I them. 
My only way of eloquence at present is that of signs. How- 
ever, I am not without something to do, for I do not require 
an interpreter to baptize the little children just born, or those 
whom their parents bring to me for baptism, and when I see 
people without clothes or worn with hunger, the mere sight of 
them and their whole appearance tells me what they want. I 
am so well occupied in these two chief kinds of most useful 
work that I have no regret as to the time spent in them. The 

VOL. I. Q 

2 26 St, Francis Xavier. 

Badages, who were infesting this coast, are all gone to Cabe- 
cate, leaving us free and without fear for the present ; but those 
who were ranging through the interior of the country are still 
committing most cruel ravages there, nor will they cease from 
rapine and violence, until peace or a truce is made with them 
by the authority of the Rajah of Travancore. I told you we 
were trying to bring this about. 

May our Lord be ever with you ! Amen. 

From Punical, August 21, 1544. 

This night I sail for Tala, to comfort, if I can, the poor in- 
digent folk who, I am told, are there in great numbers, suffering 
the utmost distress. 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


It is important to notice the date of this last letter, as it 
makes it clear that as early as the August of 1544, Francis had 
received overtures from the inhabitants of the island of Manaar, 
who sent to him to beg for instruction and baptism. The fame 
of his miracles and sanctity had flown across the gulf which 
separates Ceylon and its little adjacent islands from the main- 
land of India. We shall presently have to relate the issue of 
this Manarese deputation, which came at a time when, as we 
shall see from the next letter in our series, Francis was very 
anxious to secure the work on which he had lately been en- 
gaged in Travancore from ruin by means of the protection 
of the (so called) ' Great King.* We have already spoken of 
the system adopted by Francis for the prosecution and in- 
crease of the faith among his converts on the Fishery Coast. 
Such system required considerable organization. The priests 
need not be very numerous ; but there must be a building for 
religious meetings in each several village, and besides these, 
there must be persons appointed to take the lead at these 
meetings, to teach the Catechism to the children, to baptize 
newborn infants in cases of danger, to announce marriages, 
settle disputes, and the like; and the method adopted by Francis 
Xavier required that these should be well paid, and kept regu- 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 227 

larly to their work under the supervision of the missionaries, 
who were to move about from place to place, making several 
circuits in the course of the year. All this, together with the 
provision for the priests themselves, and the security of the 
new converts from the tyranny of their own local Adigares, as 
well as from the ever recurring danger of a raid from the Ba- 
dages, had to be looked to, and it is evident that Francis was 
in hopes of inducing the Rajah himself to make arrangements 
for it. But so many demands required full exposition, and the 
personal influence of Francis himself to enforce them. The 
Rajah had already shown himself very favourable, as will be 
seen from the following letter, but there was still much to be 
done before the whole plan could be organized. We may rea- 
sonably suppose that it was this which had occupied Francis, 
and made him give up the thought of going himself to Manaar, 
while at the same time he was doubtful whether it would be 
prudent to venture to ask so much, as long as the Court of 
Travancore had just reason to feel indignant at the misconduct 
of the Portuguese. 

(xxxii.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

The Prince who resides at Tala, and who is re- 
lated to the Rajah of Travancore, is so friendly to us, that as 
soon as he heard of the wrongs done by the Adigares to the 
Christians of those parts, he sent at once one of his house- 
hold in his own name with a letter for the Adigares, bidding 
them to permit free exportation of food and other necessaries 
from the continent to the islands where the Christians are, and 
to help them with every other kind of friendly assistance of 
which they are in need. He charged this officer to find put 
from the Christians the names of the Adigares, so as to commu- 
nicate them to me, and bring him also a written list of them, 
that if he has occasion by and bye to go to visit the Rajah, he 
may be able to tell him the names of the men who holding 
the rank of Adigares have abused their authority to vex the 

228 St. Francis Xavier. 

Christians, so that the Rajah, who shows us favour, may pre- 
vent them from such conduct in future. 

I want you to arrange with the Patangatins that the person 
sent by the Prince to aid the Christians may be received by 
them with every mark of honour, that they may give him a 
present as a reward, paying him gratefully and well for the 
journey and trouble he has taken on their account. I cannot 
do it myself, nor can the people here, we are so poor just now. 
The Patangatins must not be afraid to spend in this useful and 
pious way a small sum out of the public money, which they 
very often spend so mischievously on dances, banquets, and 
other profane pleasures of the same kind. And do you your- 
self, out of your own poverty, give something to win the man's 
favour, that he may be softened by all these little presents, and 
discharge with greater alacrity and efficacy his commission, 
which is to make the Adigares afraid in future to annoy the 
Christians, as they have done up to the present time, to their 
great loss and suffering; and, on the contrary, to constrain 
them to show our people all those kindly offices which are to 
be expected from good and friendly neighbours in the thousand 
daily occasions of mutual intercourse and commerce. 

I am most anxious to know what you have heard with cer- 
tainty of the affair which has made so much noise here. It has 
been reported ever3rwhere that a Portuguese had carried off 
one of the Rajah of Travancore's servants, and had taken him 
in fetters to Tuticorin. Now I know that rumour often reports 
things which are either without foundation, or much exaggerated 
by ill will. Tell me first whether the fact be true; then, if it be 
so, what right the Portuguese alleges on his own side, what 
occasion or pretext he would have had for such an act. I have 
already written to you at length touching this business and the 
reports which are current about it. It is the more necessary 
for me to know exactly how the truth is, as my plan of going 
to visit the Rajah depends on what I may hear. For if this crime 
has really been committed, and in the way report says, I think 
it will be better to put off the whole thing and not to go to 
that court, where the very sight of a European would be hate- 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 229 

ful, and where I should have to face the responsibility of so 
inexcusable an outrage. Any one can see how detestable the 
whole country and especially the Court itself must think it, that 
a foreigner should dare to lay violent hands on a servant of the 
Maharajah in a place under his dominion, especially when 
that prince is behaving so differently to us. Just lately he re- 
ceived Father Francis Coelho with wonderful courtesy, and 
granted him absolutely every favour that he asked for the Chris- 
tians; indeed, he showed himself so very well inclined to 
benefit them on representations of this Father, that, to give 
him some striking proof of his regard, he, of his own accord, 
created four of our Munahpaud Christians Patangatins, and 
this without any fees from them, and without any cost to the 
people, for he formally forbade the exaction of any money on 
this occasion, as was formerly the custom in the time of the 
Pulas. Besides this, he has created three other Christian Pa- 
tangatins in other places without any expense to the inhabit- 
ants, declaring with the greatest kindness that he did all this 
out of regard to Father Coelho, who had been to visit him, as 
I told you. 

I conjure you, by the love you bear to God, write to the 
Commandant as precisely as possible in my name, to say that 
I entreat him over and over again that if he has any regard 
for me he will abstain during this whole month of September 
from any offence or violence whatever to the subjects of the 
Maharajah, and not permit any Portuguese to treat any of 
them injuriously during the same time. Give him as a reason, 
what is qujte true, that we find this nation of the subjects of 
the Rajah of Travancore more easy to persuade and better 
disposed than any other in all that concerns the interests of 
religion and of the Christians. If the Commandant will only 
believe this, I cannot doubt that he would see most forcible 
reasons in it for granting my request that he will do no harm 
to people who deserve so well at our hands. You will easily 
see what I am at in making this compact for a kind of truce 
for this next month. You know that I am thinking, on account 
of important interests of religion, of going to the Rajah within 

230 St, Francis Xavier, 

the time I have named, and I should be annoyed and grieved 
beyond measure if my access to him were to be hindered by 
any new matter of complaint that might arise against our coun- 

However, as I said, I have not positively settled whether 
I go or not. I am waiting to hear what plausible defence can 
be given as to this reported seizure of the Rajah's servant; and 
for this it is that I want you so much to write. If you can tell 
me what I wish, I shall set off without delay, embarking first 
for Cochin. But now mind that I wish this letter, on which 
my decision depends, should not be in your hand nor signed 
with your name. I remember that you gave me to understand 
that you had some things to tell me about this business which 
could only be told by word of mouth, when we were together. 
I can't help suspecting that there is something at the bottom 
about the Commandant himself, or the Portuguese, or possibly 
the native Christians, which it is well I should know, that I 
may remedy the evil, and well also that it should not be trusted 
to black and white, for if the letter were to chance to be inter- 
cepted, it might put you out with the persons among whom 
you live. I highly approve your caution, but, all the same, as 
just at this moment we cannot meet, and as my affairs are just 
at that, turn when I can't do without this intelligence, I have 
made up my mind that you must let me know about the matter, 
whatever it is, by a letter written by some one else, and which, 
if it fall into any one's hands, may not be brought home to 
you by your handwriting or your signature. This letter send 
me by some very faithful messenger, and then, having had all 
information, I shall decide whether it is worth while for me to 
go to the Rajah. But I have already determined, if this crime 
by which the Rajah has been insulted is clearly proved, and as 
shameful and inexcusable as report makes it, I shall not go 
there at all. 

May God our Lord always give us His aid and His grace ! 
Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, September 2, 1544. 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 23 1 

The caution used by Mancias as to the information which 
he had to communicate concerning the outrage on the Travan- 
corese noble throws considerable light on the conditions under 
which the missionary enterprize of Francis and his associates 
was carried on. They had not only to deal with the difficul- 
ties which consisted in the ignorance, idleness, and voluptuous- 
ness of the natives themselves, in their inveterate tendency to 
relapse into idolatry or superstition, to drink arrack, or revolt 
against the severity of the Christian law of chastity and mono- 
gamy. Nor did the external dangers to their faith or to their 
Christian practice lie only in the suspicion with which every 
convert, much more every convert community, must have been 
regarded by the remainder of the Indians, and by the Mussul- 
mans and Jews, who were in great numbers and very influen- 
tial in the country, in the tyranny of their own magistrates, or 
in the danger from foreign marauders. The Portuguese, as we 
have already said, were the great enemies of the converts, both 
directly, in the outrages which they so frequently committed 
upon them as well as upon the other inhabitants of the country 
indiscriminately, and indirectly in the odium which their out- 
rages excited, and which fell upon all Christians, and notably 
upon these neophytes and their teachers. These last, as Francis 
Xavier seems to have felt, were particularly liable to be made 
responsible for the misdemeanours of their fellow countrymen, 
as they were undoubtedly in many cases the promoters, at least 
indirectly, of peace and alliance between the latter and the 
Portuguese, the good faith of which alliance was so frequently 
broken first on the Christian side. Their position is in some 
degree like that of the Catholic missionaries of our own time 
in North America, w^ho often render great services to the Go- 
vernment of the United States by prevailing on the Indian 
tribes under their influence to accept terms of peace, which 
imply great concessions on their part, while all the time the 
Government is in truth unable to control the violence and wan- 
ton cruelty of its own settlers along the extreme frontiers of 
the civilized regions, whose barbarities sometimes exceed those 
of the unconverted Indians themselves, and very naturally 

232 St, Francis Xavier. 

place even the lives of the missionaries in danger. Francis 
Xavier may not have been exposed himself to this particular 
peril, but we see clearly how hopeless he felt it to be to struggle 
on for the free establishment of the Christian religion among 
these nations, with the enormous weight against him of the 
hostility so justly aroused by the wicked licentiousness and 
rapine of those Portuguese who looked upon India as a country 
in which their one business was to enrich themselves and in- 
dulge their own passions without regard to God or man, and 
who considered the Indians as hardly having the common 
rights of human beings when they came in the way of their 
own avarice or lust. 

We have seen how Francis, in his last letter, was sanguine 
enough to hope that the Commandant of Tuticorin, Cosmo de 
Payva, would appreciate the force of the consideration he there 
urged in favour of peaceable conduct to the natives. There 
had as yet been no open breach between them, though the 
character of the man and the opinion of Francis concerning 
him are sufficiently indicated in the letter alluded to. It 
turned out, however, that nothing was to be hoped for in this 
quarter. We know Cosmo to have been one of the very worst 
of the bad Portuguese officers, of whom there were but too 
many in India, who on account of their own interests and the 
great opportunities which they possessed of furthering them with 
impunity at the expense of the cause of religion, became in fact 
more deadly enemies of the Gospel than the Badages them- 
selves. He may have been led by his own guilty conscience 
to suspect that Francis had written to Goa to complain of him. 
At all events, he had written to Francis before his letter could 
reach Mancias, declaring that he would have nothing to do with 
his friendship, and loading him with reproaches and insults. It 
is quite clear that Francis must have crossed him unwittingly 
in some of the measures he had taken for the protection of the 
Christians, or to curb the aggressive and tyrannical violence 
of the Portuguese. But the poor man was soon an object of 
pity to all, as well as to the Saint. It would appear from one 
of two letters written only two days after the letter mentioned 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. i7^2> 

above, that he had in some way played into the hands of the 
Badages, instead of protecting the Christians, and had thus 
tried to purchase the friendship of the invaders for himself. 
His reward was that he shared the fate of the Christians of 
Tuticorin : his ship was burnt, as well as the building or for- 
tress occupied by him on the shore, and he was driven like the 
Christians first of Cape Comorin, and then of Tuticorin, to 
take refuge on some barren islands off the coast to save his 
life. Francis was eager to help and save him. He urged 
Mancias to get provisions on board some boats — water to 
drink especially — and set off at once to his relief, and he wrote 
also to the native magistrates along the coast to do the same. 
He would go himself, he says, but he has just received the 
letter in which the Commandant renounces his friendship, and 
he would be sorry to pain him at such a time of extremity by 
the sight of one to whom he could use such language. 

This calamity, which befell the Christians of Tuticorin, as 
we may suppose, the Christian natives living around that town, 
and the Commandant himself also, gave occasion to the two 
letters which next follow. We put that which relates to the 
Christian natives first. 

(x XX III.) 7o Francis Mancias, 

May our Lord God always be with you with His aid! 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I am in much anxiety about the Christians of 
Tuticorin, who are in the greatest possible misery with no one 
to care for them. I beg and pray you, by the love you bear to 
God, use the utmost diligence to find out at once, and to let 
me know, the real truth of the matter and in what condition 
they are. If you think it would be for the service of God to 
go to them, then go at once with all the boats you can get at 
Combutur and Punical, and transport the poor wretched people 
from the barren isles where they now are, partly to Combutur, 

234 ^f' Francis Xavier, 

partly to Punical and Trinchandour. Set off at once, pray, and 
ivithout delay, go as fast as possible with all the tones that you 
can find at Punical, and send them word at Combutur to fol- 
low you with all theirs. 

I conjure you by our Lord never let it be that Beterbemali, 
the leader of these robber Badages, and all his horde of plun- 
dering ruffians, should have their hearts' desire fulfilled, that the 
remnant of this most afflicted people, who have been driven 
out of their homes and country by terror of them and their 
insolence, should perish of hunger and thirst because you 
were slow in succouring them. Fine watch indeed was kept 
over them by that Commandant of yours ! It would certainly 
have been somewhat more reasonable for him to take care of 
the Christians committed to his ward and charge than to have 
chosen rather, as it appears he did, to make his own peace 
by presents with Beterbemali and his bloodthirsty horsemen, 
who fly all over the country, laying waste everything with fire 
and sword ! I am writing to the Patangatins of Punical and 
Combutur, telling them to put themselves under your lead, and 
come at once with all the boats they have at hand to the suc- 
cour of the Christians at Tuticorin, who are dying of hunger 
and thirst in those arid islands, destitute of all the necessaries 
of life, and to take them away at once. 

The order I thus give you to go there is to be understood 
as depending on whether you think that your going is neces- 
sary to carry out the business effectively. If, when you have 
delivered my letter to the Patangatins, you see they are zealous 
enough and take up the thing heartily of themselves, that you 
can trust them to do what is necessary with thorough vigour 
without you, then by all means stay where you are, for I well 
know how much the need of your care on the spot may make 
you wish to stay at your work. You must therefore weigh in 
the scales of charity and balance duly one against the other 
the two claims on you, that of the extreme distress of the Tuti- 
corinians on the one hand, and that of the good of the people 
amongst whom you are working on the other, and give the 
preference to the most urgent. If without your going there the 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore, 235 

death of so many poor creatures, who are already at their last 
gasp, cannot be prevented, then leave all else and go there as 
fast as possible. Settle yourself what is best, I leave the whole 
matter for your judgment to decide on the moment. What 
you must provide for is that, whether you go or whether you 
send some one else in your place, the boats go at once to 
these starving and thirsting wretches, and that they carry suf- 
ficient water and provisions to relieve as soon as ever they 
arrive the hunger and thirst of so many fellow creatures of 
every age and sex, who are dying on those inhospitable rocks. 
May God our Lord be ever with you ! Amen. Tell me 
as soon as you can whether Manuel da Cruz and Matthew 
have got the better of the state of grief in which they were 
when I last saw them. Farewell. 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


September 5th, 1544. 

It seems that just after writing this Francis received the 
news that the Commandant himself was in the same plight 
with the people whom he ought to have protected. 

(xxxiv.) To Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I have the saddest possible news about the 
Commandant. His vessel has been burnt, and the whole of 
his residence on the shore has also been burnt, and he him- 
self, ruined and in want, has taken refuge in the islands, where 
he is in extreme want and barely alive. Go at once to his aid, 
I beseech you, for the love of God. Get together as quickly 
as you can all the barques- of. the Punical people, as many 
as you can find, and put supplies on board, especially of 
water, and go yourself to the spot. It must be done with 
all despatch : his condition is as bad as it can be, and admits 
of no delay. I am writing most urgently to the Patangatins to 
aid you to the utmost in this most necessary work of assist- 

236 Si. Francis Xavier. 

ance to the Commandant. I have told them to load as many- 
barques as they can send off with all that can be of use in 
such a case, specially water to drink, as every one knows that 
the islands are entirely devoid of it : and I want the barques 
that are sent to be as many as possible, that there may be 
enough to bring back to the land the very large number of 
people of all ages and sexes who have been driven to take 
refuge on those inhospitable rocks by the same storm which 
has fallen on the Commandant. 

I would go myself and leave you quiet at Punical, if I 
thought my presence would be pleasing to the Commandant, 
but quite lately he renounced all friendship with me in a letter 
full of the most atrocious charges. Among other things he 
said that he could not without grave scandal mention the evils 
which he felt that I had brought on him. God knows whether 
I have ever done him any harm, especially such as could not 
be mentioned without scandal. But this is no time for defend- 
ing myself or making complaints ; what is of present import- 
ance is that we understand that in his present state of feeling 
towards me, I should for his own sake avoid meeting him. The 
poor man's calamities are abundantly great as they are, and I 
might add to them some new annoyance if now at the moment 
of his deepest distress I were to force on him the sight of one 
whom he dislikes so much. It is this fear, chiefly, that pre- 
vents me from going to him, though there are many other 
reasons against my taking the journey. So do you, for God's 
sake, do all that I should do myself with the greatest diligence. 
I am writing to the Patangatins of Combutur and Bembare 
to get together immediately all the boats they can find every- 
where, load them with food and water, and sail at once to the 
Commandant. And if you wish to please God, put your hand 
to the work with all vigour, and determine not to allow your- 
self ever to have the selfreproach of having left out anything 
that could be done in the way of the utmost exertion to relieve 
before it is too late the extreme distress of this Commandant, 
which calls on us for the greatest possible display of mercy and 
charity. And of course your care must extend itself to the 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 237 

numbers of unhappy Christians who have been struck by the 
same blows of fortune. The regard I have for them makes me 
more urgent, and again and again I pray you to leave nothing 
undone to supply with all haste, promptly and efficiently, the 
very urgent needs of so many unfortunate creatures. 
May our Lord be ever with you ! Amen. 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


Alendale, September 5th, 1544. 

It will seem almost hard to believe, but the very next letter 
of St. Francis, written two days later (September 7), speaks of 
a fresh provocation given on the part of the Portuguese, not 
to the Rajah of Travancore, who seems, as far as we can gather, 
not to have resented the injury already mentioned to his noble, 
but to the terrible Badages themselves in the person of their 
leader, Beterbemali. St. Francis had gone off, after giving 
directions to Mancias and others for the relief of the Command- 
ant, to visit some Christian settlements on the western side of 
Cape Comorin, and was proceeding on his road, when he was 
arrested by the news that some Portuguese had seized and 
carried off the brother in law of Beterbemali himself. The act 
may perhaps have been one of reprisal. The Portuguese were 
generally safe enough in their vessels or their fortresses, though 
the late calamity at Tuticorin may have warned them not to 
be too secure even there, and they may have had little fear of 
any revenge that the Badages might take. That revenge would 
be taken on the defenceless native population, who had placed 
themselves in so questionable a position in the eyes of their 
fellow countrymen by becoming Christians — a position which 
gave them the character of friends of the foreigner without 
ensuring to them protection from him. They were like the 
Catholics in England after the attempt of the Catholic King 
to overthrow Queen EUzabeth had failed, save that these had 
more claim on the forbearance of their countrymen on account 
of their own tried loyalty. It was easy work for the unscru- 
pulous men who formed these garrisons to commit outrage 

238 St. Francis Xavier. 

upon outrage, for which the native Christians were to pay, and 
this abundantly explains their aggressiveness, and the position 
of St. Francis with regard to them. The Christian populations 
were nothing to them and all to him, and he had not only to 
convert the heathen, form the new converts into Christian com- 
munities, and then secure them at least liberty and toleration 
from their natural rulers, but also to meet storm after storm 
which swept over them in consequence of the depredations 
and outrages of the Portuguese. 

In the case before us we have a letter of unusual length, in 
which he explains to Mancias what steps he has taken. The 
Badages had sworn vengeance against everything bearing the 
Christian name, but they were pretty sure to confine their re- 
venge to those Christians who were at their mercy. The whole 
of the Christian population of the Comorin coast was in dan- 
ger of the fate which had already befallen them once before, 
and which now was befalling the people of Tuticorin. Coelho, 
the secular priest already named, seems to have been left in 
Travancore by St. Francis in the course of his preaching there, 
and he is now sent to protect the Christians on the spot, and 
to use the name of Francis to pacify them. He hopes also 
in future to secure for the converts an asylum, not under the 
illusory protection of the Portuguese, but in the territories of 
this heathen king, who had become his friend, and who had 
also political reasons for hoping some advantage to himself 
from the friendship of the Governor. We give the letter in 
question, which shows how confidently St. Francis could speak 
of his own influence. 

(xxxv.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

May it please God to grant us His most holy 
grace ! For in this world truly we have no help but in Him 
alone. I was at Trinchandour and on the point of setting off 
for Virandapatanam to visit the Christians there, as I had done 
at Alendale, Pudicurim, and Trinchandour. I had found plenty 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 239 

to do everywhere, and to convince me how necessary such visits 
are. Well, as I said, I was in the act of setting off again, when 
a number of messengers from all parts came to tell me in the 
greatest alarm that the whole savage race of the Badages was 
in excitement and all but up in arms. The cause of their fury 
is that the Portuguese have seized and taken prisoner a near 
relation of Beterbemali, their leader, in fact his wife's ov/n 
brother. The Badages, exasperated by this affront, were all 
vowing to exterminate everything Christian throughout the 
whole coast of Comorin. 

As soon as I heard all this, I wrote at once to Father 
Francis Coelho that immediately on receiving my letter he was 
to hasten to the place where the Christians of Comorin have 
taken refuge, to protect as far as may be by my influence these 
unfortunate people, and preserve them from the terrible dis- 
asters which threaten them on this occasion. I know that 
amongst the Badages there is a great deal of talk about my 
credit with Iniquitribirim, whom they call their Rajah, though 
they are far from obeying him implicitly, and indeed some of 
them, who follow Beterbemali, have openly shaken off his 
authority. But the greater part have still a certain respect for 
the Rajah's name, so I hope that Father Coelho, as sent by me, 
and representing, as he does, me, may find some respect paid 
him, and be able to protect these cruelly used people. I have 
all the more hope of this, as I learn from Father Coelho's 
letter that it is not only the rebel Badages that are incensed 
at the capture of Beterbemali's brother in law, but that the rest 
of the nation is being roused to arms against the people of 
Comorin by a relation of Iniquitribirim, Rajah of Travancore, 
who has lately gone among them. Now with this chief a re- 
commendation from me seemed likely to be of some use in 
preventing him from using violence against the Christians, be- 
cause he knows that I. am in some sort of account and honour 
with his Rajah. My hope was strengthened by news which 
Coelho gives me in the same letter, written quite lately, that 
the Rajah of Travancore had sent three or four of his principal 
courtiers to see me, who would have been here already if the 

240 St. Francis Xavier. 

fatigues of the journey had not made them halt at Munahpaud 
to take some repose. They are the bearers of a letter from the 
Rajah, in which he begs me not to think it too much trouble 
to come to him, and not to delay, for that he has to communi- 
cate some business of very great moment, which it is of much 
importance both to him and to us that he should talk over 
W4th me. As far as I can fathom the matter at this distance, 
I think I see reason for supposing that the Rajah takes this 
line because he feels himself in much need of the protection ot 
the Governor of India. Current reports say that the subordi- 
nate chiefs who are not loyal to him, the Pulas of whom we 
have heard so much in these parts, have grown very powerful 
and become very rich from long prosperity, so that the Rajah 
has some reason to fear that they may make large presents to 
the Portuguese Governor, and get him on their side, so as to 
help them with some troops. 

Knowing all this of the state of Iniquitribirim's affairs, I 
am the more ready to believe the letter which I have this 
moment received from him. In this he promises me, in the 
strongest and plainest terms, that he will show all favour to 
the Christians, whom he even invites into his dominions, ans- 
wering for it that they shall live in perfect security and tran- 
quillity. So I shall go to him with all speed, and intend to 
leave this tonight. My chief motive is the anxiety which I 
feel so strongly to do something at once for our unfortunate 
Christians who have been driven out of Tuticorin and Bembare, 
and to secure for them a fixed and safe place of settlement in 
the dominions of the Maharajah. The first thing that I shall 
settle with Iniquitribirim, and with the utmost diligence, will 
be to get him to assign a certain territory where these most 
miserable exiles may dwell unhurt and in peace. 

Meanwhile I wish you to use every means that occurs to 
you with all diligence to get them over from the desert islands, 
where they are being killed by want, to Combutur and Puni- 
cal ; and see that they are hospitably entertained there until, 
as I said before, I can provide for them. Remember to write 
to me fully and minutely about the affairs and conditions of 

1 he Fishery Coast arid Travancore, 241 

the Christians, especially the Commandant and the Portuguese, 
how each one is, and how their affairs get on. I should like 
you also, if you can steal so much of time from your more 
urgent occupations, to make an excursion to visit the Chris- 
tians at Combutur, as well as the Careans on the Fishery Coast 
and those who live in the village where Thomas de Motta is 
head of affairs, and lastly, those who live near Patanam. It 
would delight me very much if you found leisure to visit them 
all, for I know the need they have of such lookings up. Would 
that I had time myself to go there now ! I should like nothing 
better than to inspect all those places and make an accurate 
visitation of them all. 

I beg of you, therefore, do all this for me, and inquire 
particularly how the instruction of the children is getting on 
everywhere, and whether it is faithfully performed. You know 
that in all these places I have established schoolmasters. For 
the salary which I have promised them you can take a hun- 
dred fanams, which is deposited for this purpose with your 
friend Manuel da Cruz, who lives at Punical. You must spend 
this sum in paying the schoolmasters and catechists their 
salary, each one will tell you how much I usually give him. 
Don't think that any money or time can be better employed, 
and rely upon it you will do a great deal for the special service 
of God our Lord, if you take pains and care to have this in- 
struction of the young, a thing more necessary than any other, 
assiduously and diligently carried on. The man who is going 
to your parts, and to whom 1 have given this letter for you, 
appears very good, and inspired with great desire to serve God. 
Receive him kindly, and keep him with you till I return from 
Tniquitribirim ; or, if you think it advantageous for the service 
of God, and if he would like it also, leave him at Combutur, 
he may do what he can in the building of the church. I hear 
a report that a certain barber is setting out from where you 
are. I shall very likely meet him on the road I am going, 
so pray write by him a full account of everything. I am very 
uneasy as to how things are, both with the Portuguese and 

VOL. I. R 

242 5/. Francis Xavier, 

May our Lord grant us in the next life more tranquillity 
and consolation than we find in this ! Farewell. 

Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Triiichandour, September 7, 1544. 

In the next letter, a few days later, he speaks of other con- 
cessions which he hopes to gain. 

(xxxvi.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I could not tell you if I tried the heartfelt joy 
your letter gives me. It has taken away that wearing, burning 
anxiety of heart which I felt about the Commandant and the 
others who, like him, were driven from house and home by 
the late storm. May God our Lord dwell with them all, as 1 
pray that He may be with myself! 

On Tuesday, about two hours before daybreak, I sent 
Father Francis Coelho to the Prince, the Rajah ofTravancore's 
relation, who is now staying at Tala, about two leagues from 
Munahpaud. Father Coelho was most graciously received by 
him. I sent him in hopes of thus giving peace to all this coun- 
try, which is now in suspense, disquiet, fear, and indeed in per- 
fect consternation at the threatened inroad of the Badages. I 
should like, before I go away from this, to leave these afflicted 
people, if not at perfect peace, at least with some truce to their 
miseries. The Prince told Coelho that Beterbemali was making 
great haste to meet the Maharajah by sea, with the intention 
of giving him battle. Another reason for my sending Coelho 
was to obtain letters from the Prince to the Adigares, com- 
manding them to allow the exportation of rice and other useful 
articles of food. On the afternoon of the same Tuesday I got 
your letter, I immediately sent off a safe person to Father 
Coelho, with a letter which he was to deliver from me to the 
Prince. In this letter I have begged him to write to the Adi- 
gares of your country not to oppose, as they have hitherto 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 243 

done, the importation of provisions to Punical, nor to continue 
to vex the Christians, but rather to treat them with kindness. 
In short, I am doing all I can so as to leave this coast in some 
sort of tranquillity before setting out on my journey to Iniqui- 
tribirim. I hope to return armed with more effectual powers 
under the royal authority itself to resist the injustice of these 

Tomorrow morning I shall write to the Commandant : I 
can't write now, for the messenger is in such a hurry to set off. 
I am expecting Francis Coelho tonight. Tomorrow morning 
I shall send you a farther letter. For the present remember 
me most kindly to Paul Vaz, and tell Matthew that I am writ- 
ing to Manuel da Cruz to pay him the twelve fanams which he 
asked me for his father and for that sister of his who is so poor. 
Francis Coelho will bring me news enough, enough to fill a 
longer letter, as I have promised. May our Lord be pleased 
to bring us together in His kingdom ! Amen. 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, September loth, 1544. 

The next very short letter is important as giving us a clue 
to the movements of the writer after it was sent. Francis 
had made up his mind, it seems, to go to the Rajah, and he 
begs the prayers of the children for the success of his under- 
taking and the safety of his journey. 

(^xxxvii.) To Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

Antonio is ill in bed, and can do nothing for 
us. Send me immediately to Munahpaud Antonio the Parava 
to act as servant to us. Write to me, I beseech you, and tell 
me whether those poor afflicted people are well treated. My 
anxiety for them accompanies me everywhere, and leaves me 
no rest, and the only thing that comforts me is to have from 
time to time news of how they are going on. 

2 4-4 St. Francis Xavier, 

As soon as I get to the Rajah of Travancore, I will take 
care to have orders dispatched by him, and I will send them to 
you, commanding all the Adigares throughout the country to 
treat the Christians well. Pray to God for me, and tell all 
the children to remember to commend me to God in their 
prayers. I have addressed a bill of exchange to Manuel da 
Cruz, on account of which he will give you loo fanams to pay 
for the instruction of the children. I send it to you with this 

May our Lord ever assist you with His help and favour ! 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Tuticorin, September 20th, 1544. 

How exactly Francis fared in his journey to the Rajah of 
Travancore, we have no precise information; but we can 
gather a good deal from incidental expressions in subsequent 
letters, as well as from the details afterwards gathered on the 
spot. We find him not long after this writing to St. Ignatius 
as to the sort of persons who are fitted to be missionaries in 
the countries in which he has been labouring ; and when he 
speaks of the strength and courage which are required, he 
mentions that there are sometimes occasions when life itself 
has to be risked in the cause of God. We may well under- 
stand that in proportion to the hold which his character and 
miracles gave him upon the people would be the hatred with 
which he was regarded by the Brahmins and the teachers of 
the false religions which he overthrew. He never made any 
compromise with them, and one of the first steps which he 
took after baptizing the inhabitants of a village was to destroy 
the idols and their pagodas. It is natural enough that frequent 
attempts should have been made on his life. The cottages 
in which he rested were burnt down, sometimes three or four 
in one day. Once he was saved, like Charles II., in the thick 
branches of a tree, around the stem of which his enemies were 
seeking him to slay him. He always had a desire for martyr- 

The Fishery Coast and Travancore. 245 

dom, and was almost reckless in exposing himself to danger. 
From a letter of the next year to Mancias we find that the 
Rajah had given him a sum of money for the purpose of build- 
ing churches for the converts, and from this we may conjec- 
ture that a considerable part of the concessions which Francis 
desired to obtain from him was granted on occasion of this 
visit. It is certain that religion took deep root and flourished 
in Travancore from this time. 


Manaar, Jafanapatam^ and Meliapor, 

We have already mentioned the little island of Manaar, which 
gives its name to the gulf between Ceylon and the Fishery 
Coast, in which the pearl fishery, of which we have heard so 
much, was carried on. Manaar lies a little off the northwestern 
coast of Ceylon, separated from the larger island by a narrow 
but deep and turbulent channel, the remaining and far larger 
width of the belt of sea which lies between the continent of 
India and the two islands being at that point crossed by the 
remarkable ridge of shoals which goes by the name of Adam's 
Bridge, which almost connects Manaar with the island of Rame- 
serum lying just off the mainland. Manaar is described as a 
sandy and not very fertile island, with one good port and a 
considerable traffic. It was greatly inferior in all material and 
natural richness to its beautiful neighbour Ceylon, called by 
its own inhabitants the Land of Delights, and traditionally re- 
garded as the site of the terrestrial Paradise. Manaar was sub- 
ject to one of the several small kingdoms into which Ceylon 
was divided — that of Jafanapatam. We are not told precisely at 
what point of the preaching of St. Francis on the Fishery Coast 
and in Travancore it was that the inhabitants of this little island 
sent to request him to come to instruct and baptize them, nor 
do we know whether, in their case as in the case of the Pa- 
ravas, there were any motives of policy to help in inclining 
them to desire to receive the faith. They proved the sincerity 
of their conversion, after it had taken place, in the noblest 
manner. Francis wished himself to go in answer to the in- 
vitation, but the affairs of the Travancore mission were then 
at a critical point, and he had also to provide for the protec- 
tion of the Christians of the Fisheries. He sent therefore, in 
his place, one of the secular priests who had accompanied him 

Persecution in Manaar, 247 

from Goa, and in a short time received the news of the instruc- 
tion and baptism of a considerable number of the Manarese. 

The position of the Portuguese in India was at that time 
such that it was quite natural for any of the native princes, 
either on the mainland or in Ceylon, to look upon the con- 
version of their subjects in any numbers as an act of danger- 
ous rebellion on their part, and as involving further aggression 
and a further advance in power on that of the formidable 
strangers from Europe. The Rajah of Jafanapatam immedi- 
ately took the alarm, and treated the Manarese with the ut- 
most severity. He was a bigoted heathen, hating everything 
Christian, all the more because he was obliged from motives 
of fear to pretend to be a friend to the Portuguese. The in- 
sular position of Manaar might make it very easy for the Portu- 
guese to seize it under the pretext of protecting the new con- 
verts. Moreover, the Rajah was an usurper, and his elder 
brother, whom he had dethroned, was still alive. All these 
motives for fear made him act at once, and endeavour to tread 
out the new faith before it had made further progress. A con- 
siderable force was sent into the island, and the new Chris- 
tians, after having been commanded and having refused to 
renounce their religion, were put to death. The number of 
men, women, and children who thus suffered is given as six 

Some writers continue the story of the persecution in Ma- 
naar by connecting it with the conversion of a young prince 
of one of the kingdoms of Ceylon which happened at this time, 
but which appears more likely to have taken place at Candy 
than at Jafanapatam.^ It is characteristic of the times and of 

^ Bartoli, who is followed by Massei and others, tells us that this prince was 
the eldest son of the Rajah of Jafanapatam himself. This is hardly consistent 
with the way in which Francis Xavier speaks of him in a letter which will fol- 
low soon. Lucena, a very careful and sagacious writer, thinks it must have 
been the Prince of Candy, as Donjoam de Castro afterwards put that kingdom, 
as well as that of Jafanapatam, into the hands of a fugitive prince who had 
come to Goa, and been made a Christian. This would just suit the case of the 
cousin of the youth of whom we are now speaking. See Lucena, Vida de S. 
Francisco de Xavier, liv. ii. c. 19. 

248 St. Francis Xavier, 

the Portuguese character that we should find that it was not 
unfrequent for the merchants who traded at the various heathen 
ports in the East to take on themselves the part of missionaries 
of the Gospel, enlarging on the beauty and blessings of the 
Christian faith to those with whom they dealt. One of these 
merchants had come to be received with great favour at j;he 
Court of Candy, and had made so much way with the eldest son 
of the Rajah as to persuade him to receive instruction as a pre- 
paration for baptism. The Rajah heard of it, and the youth was 
at once put to death by his order.^ His body was left naked 
and exposed on the ground ; but the Christian merchant buried 
it in the night. In the morning the earth was found to have 
opened itself over the corpse in the shape of a wellformed 
cross, and this prodigy was repeated in spite of the efforts of 
the heathen to fill up the cross again and again. Moreover, a 
cross of red light was seen by multitudes in the air over the 
grave : a great number of converts were made, many of whom 
were put to death, others flying the country to escape the fury 
of the Rajah. Among these fugitives were two young princes, 
the brother and the cousin of the youth who had been martyred.^ 
The mother of one of these princes, the aunt of the other, ap- 
pears to have connived at their conversion, and she sent them 
secretly out of the country to preserve their lives. They were 
placed under the protection of the Portuguese, and came to 
Francis in Travancore on their way to Goa. At the same time 
the brother of the Rajah of Jafanapatam, already mentioned, 
seems to have found fresh reason for feeling himself unsafe 
while within reach of his brother. He made his way with some 
adherents to Negapatam, a port on the eastern side of the Indian 
peninsula, at the very southern extremity of the long sweep of 
coast which forms the shore of the great bay of Bengal. From 
Negapatam he passed overland to Goa, where he placed him- 

2 Lucena speaks of him as baptized in his own blood. 

3 The historians tell us that the latter of the two was the heir to the throne, 
it being the custom in India for the Rajahs to be succeeded by the children of 
their sisters, rather than by their own, real or supposed, it being thought that 
the royal line was more certainly secured in that way. 

Persecution in Manaar. 249 

self under instruction, undertaking, if his kingdom were, restored 
to him, to make it Christian as well as tributary to the Portu- 
guese crown. 

All these affairs, of which St. Francis speaks summarily in 
one of the letters which we shall have presently to insert, 
turned his thoughts at this time to a journey and voyage north- 
wards, that he might confer concerning them with the Governor 
of India, who, if he did not need any one to urge him to punish 
the Rajah of Jafanapatamfor his cruelty to the new Christians, 
might perhaps require advice and influence that might induce 
him not to carry matters too far or with too high a hand.* We 
see also in the letters some hint of arrangements to be made 
with him on the part of the Rajah of Travancore. The two 
following letters of the series which Mancias has preserved to 
us speak of the intention of Francis Xavier to go and see the 
Governor. He seems to have supposed that Sousa might be 
at Cochin, though it turned out that he had sailed as far to the 
north beyond Goa itself as Cambaia. The considerable inter- 
val which separates the letters at this point may be accounted 
for either by the absence of Francis in Travancore, from which 
country he never seems to have written, or by the certain fact 
that at some period of the later autumn Mancias was his com- 
panion in an expedition to Ceylon itself, of the circumstances 
of which we have no details. 

The two following letters were written, as it seems, at the 
same date, and in fact are very similar in their contents. It 
has been thought that they are but different forms of the same 
letter ; but as each contains much that is wanting in the other, 
it is well to print them both, especially as the latter gives us 
an insight, not very clear, it is true, into another of the troubles 
which beset the native Christians at this time. The earlier 
paragraphs of the first letter are almost a repetition of former 
admonitions given to Mancias, to urge on him the forbear- 
ance and patience necessary for his arduous duties among the 

■* Francis says in his letter on the subject that he had to exert himself to 
prevent the Governor from taking too severe a revenge. See below, p. 282. 

25© Sf' Francis Xavier, 

(xxxviii.) To Francis Mancias, 

I beg and entreat you most earnestly, my dearest brother, 
to show the people you are with, and especially the grown-up 
men and old men, very great kindness and charity, and to aim 
at making yourself beloved by them in return. Be quite sure 
that if you are beloved by them, you will be able to turn their 
hearts whatever way you wish. So bear with moderation and 
wisdom all their weaknesses and infirmities, and say to yourself 
that if they are not yet all that you desire, in time at least 
they will become so. If you cannot get out of them all the 
good you ask, take what you can get. You know this is my 
way. You should make up your mind to be to them what a 
good father is to bad children, and never give up caring and 
providing for them, though you see them all the time covered 
with many vices. God Himself, though often offended by them 
and by us, does not cease to heap His benefits upon us. He 
might most justly destroy us, but in His mercy He very often 
seems blind to our sins, and helps us in our difficulties, that He 
may overcome evil by good.^ And so you, if you cannot do all 
you wish, be glad to do what you can, since it is not your fault 
that all the progress which you might desire has not been made. 
If you sometimes find yourself so distracted by a number of 
duties that you cannot manage them all, do as much as you 
can and be content with that, and even give thanks to God for 
the particular blessing that He has led you to work in a place 
where there are so many sacred duties to be performed that you 
cannot be idle, however much you might wish it, for this is in 
truth one of the greatest blessings that God bestows. Imagine 
yourself in Purgatory, making satisfaction for your sins ; you 
will think yourself very happily dealt with in that God gives you 
the troubles of this life instead of the torments of the fires of 
Purgatory. But if, perchance, men turn out so wicked that you 
can do nothing widi them by gentleness, then sometimes use 

^ lit vincat in bono malum. (Orig.) 

Persecution in Manaar, 25 i 

severity ; for, after all, it is a work of mercy to correct those 
who are wrong, and be sure that it is a great sin not to chas- 
tise sinners, especially when they cause scandal to others. 

Nevertheless, I do not think you should give these people 
up now that they are in so much trouble, or indeed ever. At 
this time more than ever you must bid the children whom you 
have under instruction to ask of God to defend and help us, 
for in these countries we have no protection at all, except the 
protection of God. For if that saying of Him Who is the 
Truth be true — ' He who is not with Me is against Me'^ — 
any one can see how destitute we are of all human aid when 
we have so few who are with us to convert these people to the 
faith of Jesus Christ. But we must not lose heart : God will 
reward every one according to his merits ; He can bring about 
wonders however great by means of a few, as well as by means 
of many. I am much more inclined to grieve for the lot of 
those who are against God, than to call down punishment upon 
them. God Himself, of His own accord, will take terrible ven- 
geance by and by on His enemies, as we see plainly enough 
in the case of those who are undergoing the eternal pains and 
punishments of hell. 

I am going to Travancore to meet the Governor. I shall 
go by land, at least as far as Cape Comorin, and visit the 
Christian villages as I go, and baptize the infants. I want you 
to pray much to God for me, and to get the young children 
you are instructing in the Christian doctrine to pray also. 
Their prayers will be a defence and guard to me, with which 
I shall make light of the dangers with which my friends try to 
deter me from this land journey; telling me that I shall have to 
pass through a country that hates everything Christian, and 
me in particular. But I tell you plainly, I am sometimes weary 
of my life, and think I had better rather die for religion than 
live in the sight of so many and such grievous outrages upon 
the mrijesty of God, especially when I cannot help seeing them 
and yet cannot prevent them. Rather than see and hear them, 

^ Qui non est mecum contra me est. (Orig.) 

252 St, Francis Xavier, 

I would go to Ethiopia or into the dominions of Prester John, 
where one might work very hard and well for God with no one 
to oppose. Nothing gives me so much pain as to have been 
wanting in sharp resistance to those whom I see outraging His 
Heavenly Majesty. May God in His infinite goodness be 
pleased to forgive them ; and I pray and beseech Him to abide 
with you always and to accompany my steps ! Farewell. 
Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Munahpaud, November 8th, 1544. 

The first part of the next letter is full of references to mat- 
ters with which we can only be imperfectly acquainted. It 
seems that the Governor Sousa had sent a Portuguese officer, 
a relation of his own, to treat with the Pulas or subordinate 
princes or nobles of Travancore, who, as the reader may re- 
member, are mentioned in a former letter as not unlikely to 
attempt to negotiate on their own part with the Portuguese, 
with a view of rendering themselves independent of the king 
of their country. The negotiation would seem to have failed, 
and the officer was displeased with the Pulas. The second 
paragraph relates to some tyrannical proceedings at Tuticorin, 
of which we have no other account. It would almost seem as 
if some sort of legal persecution had been raised against the 
Christian converts on the part of powerful heathen or Mussul- 
mans, who had been supported by the Portuguese authorities, 
turned the Christians out of their homes, and found others 
more pliant, who occupied them on some terms derogatory to 
their religion. This at least is what we gather from the lan- 
guage of the letter, which orders that the new tenants shall not 
be permitted to take part in the pearl fishery, and adds a severe 
reprimand and warning to a certain Nicolas Barbosa, who was 
probably a Portuguese who farmed some crown rights, or em- 
ployed the divers on his own account. 

Persecution in Manaar. 253 

( XXX IX.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

I had arrived at Munahpaud, and was on the point 
of going to meet Alexis de Sousa when two Nairs^ met me, 
bringing me a letter from a Portuguese, in which he informed 
me that urgent affairs detained him at Bearim, that he had for 
me a letter from the King's Treasurer, and other commissions 
which he was charged with for me, but that he could only give 
them to me or explain them to me in person. He could only 
tell me that his commissions were such as to make it necessary 
for me to see Iniquitribirim again. Alexis de Sousa has gone 
to Coulan. It is said he went away very much irritated against 
the Pulas. Whether this is an unfounded report I cannot as 
yet well make out. I am now going hence by land from the 
Cape, to visit as I pass the Christian villages which lie on my 
way, and to baptize the newborn infants and any adults that 
I find sufficiently disposed. 

I wish that next Monday, unless you prefer another day 
(which I leave to your discretion), you would visit the Chris- 
tians who have been expelled from Tuticorin, and as in the 
new and temporary dwellings where they now are they have 
no place to meet in, collect them outside the enclosure of 
their huts in the open field, and then give them instructions 
and administer the sacraments. I beg of you strictly to charge 
Nicolas Barbosa not to summon to the pearl fishery any of the 
people at Tuticorin who have established themselves in the 
dwellings of those who are now in exile. The King and the 
Governor have given me a certain authority in this matter, and 
I will not have it that Christians in revolt and rebellion, or to 
call things by the right name, apostates, should partake in the 
fruits of the sea which belongs to us. It may be allowed to 
the people of Punical ; and if any of them are disposed to go 
and dive ofi" the isles of Tuticorin to bring up the mother of 

7 The Nairs were a high caste, the members of which generally embraced 
the profession of arms. L^on Pages. 

254 St. Francis Xavier, 

pearl shells from the bottom of the sea, they have my leave. 
So Barbosa may employ them to work for his profit. If he show 
himself inclined to resist this, give him a stern admonition from 
me, — that he had better take very great care on his own 
account not to be guilty of any fresh fault, for he has committed 
a very great number of transgressions in times past, of which 
many are quite as mindful as himself. 

I rely much, for the aid of God to help me in the hazards 
of my journey and in the doubtful issue of the affairs I have 
to manage, on your prayers for me and those of the children 
where you are, and I beg of you not to let my request for them 
be in vain. They will be an assistance and a shield to me, 
and I shall go with head erect and heart undaunted to con- 
front all the terrors which the Christians vie with one another 
to frighten me with, insisting on it that for me to undertake a 
journey by land through those countries is to run into almost 
certain destruction, because they think that the barbarous tribes 
who inhabit them will certainly pour forth all their burning 
hatred for our holy religion on my head as on its principal 
support. But, to tell you the inmost thoughts of my heart, I 
am so weary of my life that the very thing which they make an 
objection of in order to frighten me from the journey is an 
attraction to me the other way ; I really think it a thousand 
times better for me to be killed out of hatred to our holy faith 
than to live on and witness so many sins against God, com- 
mitted every day under our very eyes, which we try to prevent 
and cannot. It is the real truth ; nothing in myself has dis- 
appointed me more than that. I have been unable to oppose 
the men who — you know whom I mean — who are guilty of 
offences so enormous against God. May our Lord help and 
favour you for ever ! Amen. 

From Munahpaud, November loth, 1544. 

I am just starting for Pudicar. Father Francis Coelho is 
going to visit the Christians who are at Atanapatanam. 
Your most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


Affair of yafanapatam, 255 

After this letter we hear no more of Francis Xavier till the 
middle of the following month of December, when he arrived 
at Cochin. He had thus spent more than a month on his road, 
and had no doubt lingered in many places for the sake of in- 
structing and baptizing converts. What dangers he may have 
run during this month we cannot tell, but we may be sure that 
it was a time of great consolation to him, as he found himself 
alone and far from all his usual annoyances, preaching to the 
fishers scattered along the coast of Travancore. On arriving at 
Cochin he found that the Governor was not there, but, as has 
been said, far to the north at Cambaia. But a very dear friend 
met him at Cochin; no other than Miguel Vaz, the vicar of the 
Bishop of Goa, who had been the first to suggest to him to un- 
dertake the instruction ofthe Paravas, and who could thoroughly 
sympathize with all his desires, and all the anxieties regarding 
the position ofthe native converts in India. The conversations 
which they had together ended in important steps for the bene- 
fit of the Indian Christians, of which we shall presently speak. 
But another great pleasure was awaiting him at Cochin. That 
year's ships from Portugal had arrived at Goa in time for the 
letters, and the news which they brought, to be sent on to 
Cochin before he reached it, and he was thus greeted with 
many pieces of happy intelligence, as well as with a bundle of 
correspondence which filled his affectionate heart with joyous 
and tender thoughts of the friends who had sent it. 

Miguel Vaz, as has been said, was entirely ofthe same 
mind with Francis Xavier as to the miserable influence on the 
native Christians of the example and conduct of the Por- 
tuguese, and as to the many abuses which needed severe and 
immediate correction at the hands ofthe government at home. 
Some of the more crying evils in the state of things at 
Goa itself had been corrected by the preaching of St. 
Francis ; at least, many Portuguese had given up their prac- 
tice of concubinage ; the neglect of the sacraments, which in 
men who led such lives as the majority of the Europeans 
had been looked upon as the only mark left in them of the 
fear of God, had ceased j and the diminution of scandalous vice 

256 St, Francis Xavien 

had probably occasioned a proportionate falling off in the 
quarrels and assassinations which naturally resulted from 
the general licentiousness of manners.^ There were still 
remaining other great scandals, which had more particular 
reference to the honour due to religion, and the support which 
the true faith ought to receive from a Christian government. 
The first of these scandals was the open toleration of idolatrous 
worship, even in Goa, while in the towns around it there was 
no attempt made to check either idolatry or the superstitious 
customs and immoralities with which it was connected. Then 
again, the public offices under the Crown were sold, and Mus- 
sulmans frequently allowed to hold them, while the native 
Christians, on account of their poverty, were excluded. The 
Paravas on the pearl coast, who had to pay a certain royalty 
to the Crown out of their gains, were thus brought under the 
power of officials, often Mussulmans, who forced them to sell 
their pearls at so low a price as to render the transaction a 
simple robbery. Christian converts, also, were frequently sold 
as slaves to Mussulmans or heathens. At Cochin itself, the 
second city in Portuguese India, and entirely at the command 
of the Christian government, the native Rajah was in the habit 
of confiscating the property of any of his subjects who became 
Christians, and this abuse was allowed to go on without even 
a remonstrance. As the two friends talked over these scan- 
dals and bewailed their evil influence on the souls for which both 
were so anxious, Miguel Vaz offered of his own accord to go to 
Portugal and lay them in person before the King. The abuses 
in themselves were not beyond the reach of cure, though it is 
likely enough that neither Martin Alfonso Sousa, nor any other 
Governor, could have dealt with them satisfactorily single- 
handed. But they implied a state of things which nothing but 

8 Bartoli, Asia, t. i. p. 43, enumerates among the abuses prevalent in Goa 
before the arrival of Francis Xavier, the practice of the Portuguese of the pur- 
chase or seizure of slave girls who were made to carry on the most infamous 
traffic and pay their masters a certain sum out of their earnings, and the selling 
of justice in the courts to the highest bidder. The mention of these abuses 
illustrates some of the letters which we have lately given, in which similar prac- 
tices on tlie part of the Portuguese on the Fishery Coast are alluded to. 

Affair of yafanapatam, -i^y 

a very radical change in the whole Portuguese population in 
India could have set right. They were exposed to unusual 
temptations, and a higher standard of public morality would 
have cut the evil at its root. The government might certainly 
do something by precepts and injunctions, but who was there 
to carry them out and insure their general observance? St. 
Francis, as we shall see, hit upon the best possible expedient 
when he proposed to the King to send out an independent 
minister with full authority, whose one business it should be 
to protect the interests of religion ; but it may be questioned 
whether if such an official had been appointed, he might not 
have been himself carried away by the current of corruption all 
around him, or at least have been intimidated by the union of 
influences of all kinds which would have joined to resist him in 
the execution of his duty. However, Miguel Vaz and Francis 
Xavier did their best for India when they resolved that one of 
them should go in person to plead the cause of religion with 
the King. 

The letters from Europe which Francis found at Cochin 
were full of interesting news. The Society was flourishing and 
increasing : the limitation at first imposed by the Pope as to 
the number of the professed Fathers, who were not to exceed 
sixty, had been taken away; many pious works, which remain to 
the present day, had been started by Ignatius in Rome, and 
progress had been made towards the building and completion 
of the permanent house of the Society, which is now the Gesu, 
close to the little church of Sta. Maria a Strata. Peter Favre 
and Bobadilla were active in Germany and in the Low Coun- 
tries, Laynez had done much in Venice, and Salmeron in 
Modena. Many distinguished recruits had joined the Order — 
among others, the pure, brilliant, and candid youth who was 
afterwards known as Peter Canisius. Perhaps the brightest part 
of the news, at least to St. Francis, was the great advance of the 
Society in Portugal, where the College at Coimbra was being 
built by the King, the establishment being already at work in a 
temporary dwelling, where there were as many as sixty students 
of the Society. All this gave good hope for the future of the 

VOL. I. s 

258 St. Francis Xavier, 

Indian mission, and the heart of its great Apostle was swelling 
with thankfulness and hope when he wrote from Cochin, almost 
immediately after his arrival, to Mancias, telling him that he 
was to be ordained priest, and to take charge at once of the 
mission of Travancore. Francis himself was to set sail at once 
for Cambaia, to arrange with the Governor about the affair of 

(xL.) To Francis Mancias, 

My dearest Brother in Jesus Christ, 

The day before yesterday, the i6th of December, 
I arrived at Cochin. Before I got there I had baptized all I 
could reach of the Matchuas,9 a race of fishermen who live in 
the kingdom of Travancore. God, Who sees our inmost heart, 
knows how gladly I would have returned thither at once to 
baptize the people of another tribe which lives there, who are 
not ill disposed to embrace the yoke of Jesus Christ. But the 
Vicar-general, Don Miguel Vaz, thinks that it is now of im- 
portance, for the greater service of our Lord, that I should go 
to the Governor, to arrange with him about the affair of Jafa- 
napatam. So in two or three days I shall sail for Cambaia 
in a well appointed barque,^^ soon, I hope, to return with the 
affair settled as we could wish — as the interests of religion and 
of the glory of God require. 

His Lordship the Bishop is not coming to Cochin this year, 
but the Vicar-general will sail by the first vessel for Portugal. 
He will very soon come back to us, as I hope from the good- 
ness of God, knowing how important to the service of God it 
is that he should do so. Diego, who is at Goa in the College 
of St. Paul, is burning to come here. Father Master Diego 
and Master Paul and all the College are in good health. I 
have received a great number of letters from Portugal, which 
have lately arrived at Goa. Among them is a rescript to au- 
thorize you to receive the holy priesthood without producing 

9 Matchoua is the Sanskrit name for the caste of fishermen, 
i** A ta/«r^— apparently a large, swift, undecked boat. 

Affair of y of anapatam. 259 

the usual proofs of having sufficient patrimony or title or the 
revenues of an ecclesiastical benefice sufficient for your main- 
tenance ; but I think you have no occasion to use this faculty, 
since the Bishop is ready to pass over all such requirements 
and ordain you priest, as he has lately ordained Father Manuel 
and Father Caspar, who are now here with us at Cochin, and 
who will soon set out to gather fruit in the same part of our 
Lord's vineyard with you. The letters I speak of say that two 
of our brothers had set sail from Portugal hither, and I am 
very uneasy about them, because they have not yet arrived. 
I fear much they may either be wintering at Mozambique, or 
have been forced to turn back to Portugal by adverse seas and 
tempests. They tell me one is Portuguese by birth, the other 
an Italian; and the King in his letter to me sounds their 
praises loudly. May God be pleased to bring both of them 
to us safe and sound ! I know neither of them, for they are 
not any of those we left at Lisbon. More than sixty young 
men of our Society are now studying in the University of 
Coimbra, and the accounts we get of them, their religious cha- 
racter, their modesty, and their abilities, give great reason for 
praising and thanking God for them as much as possible. They 
are nearly all Portuguese, of which I am exceedingly glad. 
There is also very joyful news about our brethren in Italy. I 
will not say more of all this now, because I hope in less than 
a month to be with you, and then you shall have all these 
letters from Europe to read. 

And now for yourself. As soon as you get this, I most 
earnestly entreat you again and again, as you love Cod our 
Lord, and desire to please Him, set out at once to visit those 
newly made Christians whom I lately baptized in great num- 
bers on the coast of the kingdom of Travancore. Set up a 
school in each village, where the young children capable of 
instruction may assemble every day under the direction 01 a 
master, and appoint one to teach them. For his salary and 
any school expenses, you may take, I should think, 150 fanams 
of the money reserved for this purpose. This sum you will 
divide among the masters of the different village schools, as 

2 5o St. Francis Xavier, 

soon as you see that they have begun their work and got it 
into order j and don't go away from any place without giving 
the master at least a part of his salary, so that they may work 
on more zealously, and look forward to proving how well they 
have done, by having some progress on the part of the children 
to show when we go there again, as well as have the hopes 
of future pay. Don't leave a single hamlet, in all the district 
right up to the Great Fishery, in which you have not yourself 
been present at these daily assemblies of the children, and 
also provided aright for their continuance after your departure. 
For your own support get money from the Commandant. 

At Munahpaud get a boat to take you to Careapatana; 
but before you get there, turn aside to Monchur. It is a vil- 
lage of Matchuas not yet baptized, not much more than a league 
from the extreme point of Cape Comorin. Baptize them, for 
they are sufficiently prepared for it, and have often shown that 
they desire it, by sending some of their people to entreat me 
to have the kindness to go and baptize them all. I was willing 
enough to satisfy their pious desire ; but though I have often 
attempted to get there, I have always been detained by more 
urgent affairs. Antonio Fernandez, one of the Malabar Chris- 
tians, is soon to follow you, and may probably join you very 
soon, being on board a very light and swift boat. You must 
take him with you everywhere, as a companion and adviser in 
all that you do on this coast, until you have baptized all the 
inhabitants. He is a very good man, burning with zeal for the 
glory of God. He knows by experience the ways of the people, 
in what manner and with what precautions they are to be 
dealt with; so do whatever he thinks good, and never disagree 
with him nor prevent him from doing good. He is a man that 
one can well trust. I always trusted him when in those parts, 
and never repented of it. So that I not only advise you to 
defer to his advice and let him manage everything, but I pray 
and beseech you to do so. 

Take with you Matthew and the royal officer who used to 
go with me from Viranda to Patanam ; also your servant lads 
and a Canacapole who knows how to write, and who can tran- 

Affair of Jafanapatam, 261 

scribe for you the prayers which the children and other cate- 
chumens are to be taught by heart by the care and dihgence 
of the teachers of Christian doctrine who are appointed, copies 
of which you can leave behind you everywhere. Employ the 
same secretary to write the letters you want to send anywhere 
as you think well, and also to read and help you to understand 
all those that are addressed to you from time to time from 
different parts of the country. Pay the Canacapole's salary, 
not out of the money set apart for the instruction of the chil- 
dren, but out of that which the King has ordered to be paid for 
our use and maintenance, which the Commandant will give 
you in the regular instalments. 

On leaving where you are, intrust the work which you 
have been doing, of baptizing and instructing the people of the 
Comorin district, to the good priest Joam de Lizana. Francis 
Mendez, who is to take this letter to you, is ready to start, 
and in such a hurry that for the present I can write no more. 

May our Lord be always your helper, as much as I pray 
that He may be my own ! 

Your most affectionate brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Cochin, December i8th, 1544. 

As soon as this letter was dispatched, St. Francis embarked 
for Cambaia,^^ where the Governor Sousa was to be found. 
This northward voyage gave him the opportunity for one of 
those beautiful conquests of charity which were so frequent 

11 In some old maps of India the peninsula of Gujerat is called Cambaia ; 
but the name is at present limited to the city of Cambay, at the head of the gulf 
of the same name, which separates Gujerat on the south-east from the main- 
land. The Portuguese had a fortress at Diu, a town on the southern coast of 
the peninsula, and disputes were now arising concerning the observance of the 
terms of a treaty of peace made some years before by the Viceroy, Don Garcia 
da Noroila, which had permitted a native prince to build a wall between the 
fort and the part of the town inhabited by the Mussulmans. This wall was 
being made a fortification, and there was a league among the Indian princes to 
attack and take the forte. This and other matters mentioned by Faria y Sousa, 
Asia Portuguesa, t. ii. p. I. c. xiv., probably occasioned the presence 01 the 
Governor in those parts. 

262 St Francis Xavier, 

during his life in the East, where his constant passages from 
place to place brought him across so many wild and rough 
characters, in whose hearts the seeds of faith had not been 
altogether destroyed even by a career of licentiousness. On 
this voyage he found himself the chance companion of a man 
of rank and high office, whose impiety and wicked life were so 
notorious as to be a cause of scandal even to the heathen. 
Francis made himself his familiar friend, and at last endea- 
voured to lead him to converse on matters of religion. He 
made very little way with him, however ; and when he asked 
him about going to confession, the other broke out into blas- 
phemous language, declaring that nothing should ever induce 
him to do it. So matters went on, day after day, St. Francis 
always paying him great attention, and seeming to court his 
friendship, until they arrived at Cananor, a port on their route, 
and, as the vessel stayed there for a few hours, the two friends 
landed and walked together into a palm grove that was near 
the shore. Then Francis Xavier threw himself on his knees, 
laid his shoulders bare, and began to scourge himself cruelly 
with a discipline, until the ground was red with his blood and 
the whole grove sounded with the noise of the blows. Then he 
began to tell the man that it was for him that he was doing this 
penance, and he had cost far more than this to his Saviour 
Jesus Christ, Whom he implored to look upon the price of His 
own Blood, to send His light into that poor soul, and stretch 
out His hand to save him. The other was overwhelmed, and 
cried out in his turn that Francis had conquered him, begging 
him to hear his confession and reconcile him to God at once ; 
and so great was his sorrow that Francis was able to receive 
his confession and absolve him before they returned to the 

12 We have another anecdote of this visit to Cananor preserved to us, which, 
like all the incidental information that exists as to this period of the life of 
Francis Xavier, bears witness to the esteem in which he was universally held, 
and the common opinion of his sanctity. A good Christian father came to him 
to bewail his own wretched lot, on account of the bad behaviour of a son of his. 
as yet a lad. Francis consoled him, by saying that age would probably bring 
with it an improvement ; and then, after a few moments of recollection, he 

Affair of Jafanapatajn, 263 

Francis had little difficulty in persuading the Governor of 
India to undertake the punishment of the usurping Rajah of 
Jafanapatam for the cruelty with which he had treated his 
Christian subjects. Martin Alfonso had lately terrified him 
into a sort of submission to the supremacy of the Portuguese 
Crown by the payment of an annual tribute of 4000 ducats -^^ 
and he was ready enough to order immediately an expedition 
against Jafanapatam which would show to all the princes of 
India and Ceylon thg,t it would not be permitted them with 
impunity to persecute Christians. The subordinate officers 
along the coast received orders to collect their forces in men 
and ships, and Negapatam was named as .the place at which 
the armament was to rendezvous. When we remember the 
severe way in which Batecala had been treated by this same 
Governor, it is not surprising that St. Francis should have 
been anxious rather to mitigate his wrath than to inflame it. 
The fact that the execution of the punishment was to be com- 
mitted to the local commandants, whose character Francis had 
already had so many occasions of learning, was not a very 
favourable omen ; and he seems to have readily fallen in with 
the suggestion that he should be on the spot when the arma- 
ment sailed. Indeed, a part of the Governor's order was, 
that the offending Rajah should be placed at his disposal ; an 
arrangement which, if the expedition had succeeded, would 
probably have saved his life if he had been made prisoner. 

It appears from a passage in a letter to Simon Rodriguez, 
written by Francis after his return from Cambaia, that he stop- 

seized the hand of his friend with great signs of joy, and told him to be of good 
heart, for his son would become a Franciscan friar, and be renowned both for 
learning and holiness. The prophecy turned out true : the youth grew up to 
enter the Franciscan Order, became famous for learning and virtue, and died 
a martyr's death in Ceylon, whither he was sent to preach. 

A3 See Faria y Sousa, Asia Portuguesa, t, ii. p. i. c, xiii. § 5. This was at 
the time of the expedition spoken of above, when the pagoda of Tebilicare was 
plundered. At the same time, the writer informs us that the King ' called 
" Grande'' at Comorin' made the Governor a large present out of fear. This 
was probably the Maharajah of Travancore, whom we know from the letters of 
St. Francis to have been desirous of conciliating the Portuguese. 

264 St, Francis Xavier, 

ped for a short time at Goa before proceeding to find the 
Governor. He does not seem to have Hngered there on his 
return, as we find him again at Cochin in the middle of January 
1545, from which place he wrote several letters to be sent to 
Europe by the same ships which were to take Miguel Vaz on 
his embassy of charity. Perhaps Miguel himself may have been 
still at Cochin.^* Three of these letters must now be inserted. 
The first was addressed to King John of Portugal, recommend- 
ing Miguel to the favour and attention of the King, and in- 
sisting, with true apostolical liberty, on the duty incumbent on 
his Highness' conscience of providing for the advancement of 
religion in India, and in particular of punishing by something 
more forcible than a mere reprimand or expression of his will 
the officers under the Crown who did so much mischief by their 
violence and cruelty towards the new converts. The other let- 
ters which remain to us are to the Society at Rome and to 
Simon Rodriguez in Portugal, who was also to read the letter 
to Rome before it was sent on. 

!■* We find another of St. Francis' occasional prophecies connected with his 
stay at Cochin. His great friend, Cosmo Aiiez, one of the benefactors of the 
College of Santa Fe, who held some office like that of Treasurer under the 
Crown, had bought a very valuable diamond for the King, on his own respon- 
sibility, and sent it to Portugal. Francis asked him which ship it was in, and 
when the ship was named, said he would rather have heard him say any other. 
This frightened Anez, who begged him to pray for the safety of the vessel. 
Some days after, he was again at table with Anez, who was anxious about his 
jewel, and then Francis turned to him, and told him to give thanks to God, 
because the diamond was safe in the hands of the Queen, It turned out after- 
wards that the ship had been in great danger from a large leak which had sud- 
denly appeared, and which made the captain think of running her on shore, 
and trying to save the crew and cargo ; but the leak had been stopped, as sud- 
denly as it appeared, without any one being able to explain the favourable turn 
of the matter. This anecdote, taken by Bartoli from the Processes, will be found 
in Massei, Vifa di S. Francesco, t, ii. c, vi. Cosmo Aflez was the friend who 
challenged Francis about the miracle at Mutan, related above. Francis cried 
out, 'Jesus ! how can you believe that a man so miserable as I am could raise 
the dead !' and confessed that the young man was ' found to be alive,' and that 
the people ' imagined' a miracle. 

Letters to Europe. 26^ 

(xLi.) To John III. King of Portugal. 


I would fain that your Highness may be fully con- 
vinced, and that the reflections of your own heart may continu- 
ally tell you, that God our Lord has given to your Highness, 
before all other Christian princes of the earth, the empire of 
the Indies, in order that He might therein test your virtue, and 
prove with what faithfulness you discharge the work committed 
to you, and with what active gratitude you answer to His bene- 
fits : and that God's purpose in this was not so much to enrich 
your royal treasury with the profits of precious fruits from dis- 
tant lands and the influx of wealth from abroad, as rather to 
present to you occasions of heroic labours and afford your in- 
tense and religious devotion the means of making themselves 
pleasing to Himself, in bringing, by your own burning zeal, 
and by the work of skilful ministers employed by you, the un- 
believers of these countries to the knowledge of Him, the Cre- 
ator and the Saviour of the world. 

Justly and rightly, therefore, does your Highness recom- 
mend to those servants of yours whom you send hither to exert 
themselves much in propagating widely our holy faith, and 
in the advancement of religion. Since your Highness well un- 
derstands that God will require of you an account of the sal- 
vation of so many nations, who are ready to follow the better 
path if any one will show them it, but meanwhile, for want of 
a teacher, lie in blind darkness and the filth of most grievous 
sins, offending continually their Creator, and casting their own 
souls headlong into the misery of eternal death. 

Your Highness will receive a report from Don Miguel Vaz, 
who has been the Vicar-general of the Bishop of Goa, and 
is now leaving us for Portugal, as to what his experience has 
been of the readiness of these nations to be taught the faith, 
and of the other openings which present themselves here for 
the good progress of religion. He has left among them so great 
an amount of regret at his departure, that his return at the 
end of a year is very advisable for their consolation and pro- 

266 St. Francis Xavier. 

tection; though there is quite reason enough for his return 
in your Highness' own interests. I mean that you may thus 
confide to a servant so entirely competent and industrious the 
grave duty which is urgent upon you of advancing the glory 
of God in India. If you set this faithful and experienced 
steward over this business, you may rest in full security, for 
you may rely on his eminent virtue, proved by so many years' 
experience, and which has won for him the veneration of the 
whole population here, for losing no opportunity of defending 
or advancing religion. 

Again and again I entreat and conjure your Highness, that 
if you wish to provide well for the service of God and the in- 
terests of the Church, if you have any regard for all the good 
well reputed persons who Hve here in India, for the Chris- 
tians lately converted to our holy faith, and I may add, if you 
wish to do me a real kindness once in this life, order Don 
Miguel Vaz, who is now leaving us, to come back again. I 
have no other reason for begging this than the service of God, 
the increase of our holy faith, and the discharge of the con- 
science of your Highness. God our Lord is witness that I 
say the truth. I know how much a man like that is regretted 
here, and how useful he is. And so, to fulfil my duty and to 
discharge my own conscience as well as yours, I declare and 
protest to your Highness, that it is quite essential, if you de- 
sire that our holy faith should be promoted and spread abroad 
here in India, and if you wish those who are already gathered 
into the Church not to be torn from her and to fall back into 
their old superstitions, scandalized and scared away by the 
many grievous injuries and vexations which they suffer — and 
especially from your Highness' own servants — that you send 
hither again Don Miguel Vaz, who has so brave a heart and 
so constant a courage in resisting those who persecute the 

Although the Bishop is a prelate of all that consummate 
virtue which he in truth possesses, yet, as your Highness is 
aware, he is now bent down with old age, and has besides so 
much to suffer from diseases, as no longer to possess bodily 

Letters to Europe, i6y 

strength sufficient to undergo the very great labours which are 
required for the exact discharge of all the duties of the Epis- 
copate out here, however much he abounds in vigour of mind, 
and, indeed, increases in it daily. There is a reward which 
God is wont to grant to those who have persevered for many 
years in His service, spending all their life and prime in un- 
dergoing great labours for His sake, until they have attained 
to an almost entire victory over the rebellion of their body 
against the spirit. To such men God gives in their late old 
age this victory as a fruit of their continual struggles, and that 
others their subjects may see their example and imitate their 
perseverance, that they feel themselves as it were growing 
young again in the renewal of spiritual strength just at the 
time when nature gives way under the weight of all the trou- 
bles of decrepitude and old age. They have spent their lives 
in the practice of virtue, and, as strength gradually fails them, 
the earthly body is changed into a heavenly spirit. So it is 
with our good Bishop, and the time has come when he needs 
assistance for the labours which his office lays upon him. 

I entreat you, my lord King, and conjure you for the sake 
of God's service, that, as I write what follows with the purest 
intention and in the most perfectly sincere truthfulness, so also 
your Highness may be pleased to receive what I suggest with 
like kindness, favour, and goodwill. It is indeed with the 
single motive of advancing the service and honour of God, 
and out of the desire which I feel to deliver your royal con- 
science from a heavy burthen, that I entreat and beseech you 
not to be content with recommending to your servants here 
the interests of religion by letter, but also to make your 
recommendation authoritative and weighty by letting men see 
examples of just retribution in the punishment of those who 
have failed in their duty in this respect. For there is danger 
that when our Lord God calls your Highness to His judgment 
— which will be when it is least expected, and there will be 
no hope or method of avoiding it — there is danger, I say, that 
your Highness may hear angry words from God, * Why didst , 
thou not punish those who owned thy authority and were thy 

268 St. Francis Xavier, 

subjects, and who were enemies to Me in India? Thou 
wouldst surely have been severe in punishing them, if they 
had been found negligent in their care of taxes due to thee 
and in matters of thy revenue.' Nor do I know. Sire, what 
weight in excusing you at that moment will be allowed to the 
answer you may make, and say, * Every year when I wrote to 
my ministers, Lord, I recommended to them the interests of 
Thy divine service.' For the answer will come at once, * But 
those who altogether trampled upon those solemn command- 
ments thou didst allow to do so unpunished, and at the same 
time those whom thou didst find unfaithful and remiss as 
to their attention to thy own interests, thou didst duly 

Again, Sire, by all the zeal which burns in you for the glory 
of God, and by the very great care which I am sure you have 
to discharge before God the obligations of your royal office, 
and to keep your conscience free from burthen, I conjure and 
beseech your Highness to send to India a special and com- 
petent minister, armed with all due authority, whose single 
office it may be to provide for the salvation of the countless 
souls here which are now in danger of being lost. And let 
him have for his discharge of this duty powers from you quite 
independent of all authority or command of your officers whose 
duty it is to attend to the revenue and management of your 
government. In this way the troubles and scandals may be 
avoided which have hitherto so grievously and so frequently 
disturbed the progress of religion. 

I would have your Highness take an exact account, and 
add up the full sum of all the revenues and temporal advant- 
ages which, by the goodness of God, you receive from India. 
Then deduct what you spend here for the service of God and 
the cause of religion. And then, when all has been fairly 
reckoned up, make such a division of profits between what is 
to go to your royal purse and what is to be given to God and 
His heavenly kingdom as shall seem just and good to your 
grateful and religious heart, taking care that the Creator of all 
things may never seem to be repaid poorly and charily by 

Letters to Europe, 269 

your Highness by too small a portion of the gifts which He 
has poured so lavishly into your bosom. And let your High- 
ness do this without any delay or procrastination, for, however 
quickly it be done, it will always be later than it ought. What 
urges me to write is the true and burning charity of my heart 
towards you; for, in truth, I seem to hear voices rising to 
heaven from these countries against your Highness, complain- 
ing, on the part of India, that she is dealt with in a niggardly 
way by your Highness, since while your treasury is being en- 
riched by immense revenues from her, you barely give in re- 
turn so very small a pittance in aid of the relief of her most 
grievous spiritual necessities. 

It will not, I think, be unpleasant to your Highness, on 
whom lies this duty of providing for the salvation of souls in 
this your people of India, to know how the affairs of that sal- 
vation stand at present. In Jafanapatam and on the coast of 
Coulan it may well be that before the end of the year more 
than a hundred thousand souls will have been added to the 
Church of Christ. I do not speak of Ceylon. Would to God 
that the Rajah of that island were at all softened by the great 
favour your Highness shows him, so as not to be so cruelly 
adverse to admitting our Lord Jesus Christ into any part of his 
territories ! 

Send out to us. Sire, as many labourers as possible of oui 
Society, that there may be enough not only to baptize and 
instruct in the Christian doctrine the great numbers who are 
led to embrace our holy faith here, but also some who may be 
spared to be sent to Malacca and the countries near that city, 
where there are many converts. 

Father Master Diego and Don Paul are at the College of 
Santa Fe. As they are now writing at full length to your High- 
ness about that holy College, I will say nothing of it at present 
except that I beg as a special favour that your Highness will 
be at the trouble to write to Cosmo Afiez, that as he began 
and has carried on the foundation of the College, he is not 
to give up completing it and bringing it to full perfection, nor 
by any means to be conquered by this labour, for that he will 

270 St, Francis Xavier, 

certainly have a worthy reward for so good a work, first from 
God, and then from your Highness. 

Francesco Mancias and myself live on the promontory of 
Comorin, among the Christians converted by Don Miguel Vaz, 
the Vicar-general of India. I have now with me three priests, 
natives of the country. The College of Cranganor,^^ which is 
the work of Fra Vincenzo, makes great progress, and will ad- 
vance from good to better if your Highness continues to favour 
it as heretofore. There is really the truest reason for giving 
constant thanks to God for the great fmit to the service of 
Christ our Lord which has arisen from that holy College. There 
is a very probable hope that it will send forth religious men 
who may make the whole of Malabar, which is now sunk in 
vice and error, feel a saving shame at its own state of misery, 
and may bring the light of our Lord Jesus Christ to the be- 
nighted minds of the people, and make His Holy Name mani- 
fest among them all, by the work and ministrations of the dis- 
ciples of Fra Vincenzo. I beseech and implore your Highness, 
for the sake of God, to vouchsafe to show him favour, both by 
other proofs of your royal goodwill and also by granting him 
the alms which he asks of you. As I expect to die in these 
Indian regions and never to see your Highness again in this 
life, I beg you, my lord, to help me with your prayers, that we 
may see one another again in the next world, where we shall 
certainly have more rest than here ; asking for me of our Lord 
God what I in return ask for your Highness — that is, that He 
may give you the grace so to think and act now as at the hour 
of your death you would be glad to have thought and to have 

Your Highness' servant, 


Cochin, January 20th, 1545. 

15 Brother Vincent de Lagos, a Franciscan friar, accompanied to India, in 
1538, Don Joam Albuquerque. Great fruits resulted from his labours at Goa 
and Cranganor. He founded, in 1540, a College in the lastmentioned city, 
under the name of St. James, and taught there during ten years. He converted 
a great number of Greek and Armenian schismatics in the kingdom oi Tanor. 
He died in 1550. {Uon.Pagh.) 

Letters to Europe, 271 


We can hardly account for the very great anxiety with 
which Francis urges on the King to send back Miguel Vaz; an 
anxiety which shows itself also in the letter to Simon Rodriguez 
which was written at the same time. Perhaps it was merely 
that Miguel was the one person he had met with in India who 
most thoroughly sympathized with him in his zeal for the 
native Christians, as he was apparently the single person in 
high position whose voice was always sure to be lifted in their 
defence. It may be, however, that this very quality in the Vicar- 
general made him odious to some of the Portuguese in India, 
who would not augur any good to themselves from his pre- 
sence at the Court, and who might be very willing to see him 
detained in Portugal rather than sent back with powers for the 
protection of the natives. The next letter is to St. Ignatius. 

(xLii.) To the Reverend Father Ignatius of Loyola, 
Geiieral of the Society of Jesus ^ at Rome. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

If you would do what is greatly desired by all who take 
an interest in the College of Santa F^, and especially the Go- 
vernor, the most devoted of them all, I do beseech and con- 
jure you, by our Lord, to send us, at least if it can be done, 
the faculties that have been asked of you ; I mean what they 
wanted you to get for them from the Holy Father, that the 
high altar of this College may be privileged for one soul as 
often as mass is said on it, on the conditions that I wrote you 
two years ago in the name of the Governor. We are also 
waiting for the other graces about which I wrote to you 'at the 
same time by his order. 

Any of our Society who are not fit for hearing confessions 
or preaching, or for discharging the other functions of the 
Society, would be of great use here after having been duly 
practised in meditation and spending some months in humble 
and abject services, if they had good strength of body and 

272 St. Francis Xavler. 

virtue of mind. For here, among the heathen, great learning 
is not needed. It is enough if they are not altogether unedu- 
cated, so as to know how to teach children and ignorant per- 
sons the usual prayers of the Church ; and to go round the 
towns and villages to baptize newborn infants. Many of these 
die without baptism, because we cannot be at so many places, 
so distant, too, from one another. So any men that you may 
come across of this sort, who, not well adapted for our Society 
in Europe, and whom you see to be fit for going about here 
to baptize newborn children and teach the Catechism to the 
ignorant, send them out to us, for here they will do a very 
great deal of good. I want them to be thoroughly strong in 
body, and well able to bear fatigue. This is a most trying and 
fatiguing country, both from the excessive heat, the scarcity of 
wholesome water, and also the poorness of the food. Rice, 
fish, and milk are what we live on and nothing else ; no bread, 
no wine, none of the other things that you have plenty of. So 
I want young men and hale men, not weak and old men, that 
they may bear the fatigue of continual baptizing, teaching, and 
going about, as they will often have to do, not only to baptize 
newborn children, but to protect the Christians from the fury 
and rage of the heathen. Sometimes God gives us here the 
singular blessing of being obliged to risk our lives for His sake, 
and of having no way of avoiding the risk without breaking the 
law of charity. They must remember that we are born mortal, 
and that for a Christian nothing can be more desirable than to 
suffer death for Christ. So they must be armed with a brave 
heart and strength from above. 

And as I, who have none of this courage and virtue, am 
now setting off for countries where I shall have the very great- 
est need of heavenly aid, I conjure you, by God and His holy 
religion, to remember me by name in your holy sacrifices, and 
also take diligent care that I may have the protection of the 
prayers of the whole Society. I am quite persuaded that I 
have already been delivered by God from many and great dan- 
gers by your intercessions and that of the Society. I write 
this to you that you may understand what sort of men we want. 

Letters to Europe. 273 

However, if you find any strong enough to bear all the labours 
and inconveniences of which I have spoken, but not very ready 
or eager to risk their lives, I would have you send them still, 
for there are many regions here vhere they may work for reli- 
gion without any danger of death . Remember always that to 
catch these heathen there is no need of great learning. Men, 
such as I speak of, after they have been a few years in these 
countries, will have added to them from Heaven strength and 
courage for greater works. You may also send us men cap- 
able of hearing confessions and of giving the Spiritual Exer- 
cises, even if they are not able to bear harder work ; for they 
will reside at Goa or at Cochin, in which towns they will be able 
greatly to serve religion, and have plenty of everything them- 
selves, just as in Portugal. For these towns are full of Por- 
tuguese families, and there will be no lack of what is wanted to 
relieve them in case of delicate health or illness; in both places 
there are plenty of physicians and plenty of medicines. In 
other places where the Portuguese do not live, such as those 
which we are now going through in our- missions, there is no 
provision or help for the sick. But in both the cities I have 
named great good may be done by teaching the inhabitants the 
practice of the Spiritual Exercises. 

It is four years since we sailed from Portugal, and during 
this interval I have received from you one letter and no more. 
I have had two from Father Simon, from Portugal, and I long 
very much, my Father, to hear something at least once a year 
about you and our other brothers. I do not doubt that you 
write to me every year, as I do to you ; but I fear that the 
letters on both sides miscarry, and that you desiderate mine as 
I yours. Two of ours were coming to India this year, but 
their vessel has not yet reached Goa. Whether it has returned 
to Portugal or passed the winter at Mozambique, as Portuguese 
vessels often do, I know not in the least. 

I should like to hear whether our old friend still goes about 
upon a mule. If he does, as he did when I left, he must be 
very infirm not to have recovered the use of his feet, after so 
many physicians and so many remedies. I have no other 

VOL. I. T 

274 St. Francis Xavier, 

news to tell you, only that you are to send here as many as 
you can, for we are in extreme dearth of workers for God. I 
pray God that if we are never to see one another again in this 
life, at all events we may do so in that blessed life which is to 
come, where there will be so much more peace than we can 
enjoy now. 

Cochin, January 22d, 1545. 

This letter seems to begin abruptly, and we might suspect 
that its first paragraph, as well as the signature at the end, 
may have perished under the hands of the relic hunters, who 
have certainly destroyed for us a great number of the letters of 
the Saints. But it is clearly meant for St Ignatius alone, and 
may have been a note to him of the things which St. Francis 
wished to suggest, particularly as to the sort of subjects to be 
sent out to India, and so may have been written originally as 
we have it. We may remark that it contains the first allusion 
to the intention of St. Francis to proceed to the further East — 
at least we may so interpret his words about his own great 
need of the protection of prayer. The passage about the old 
friend and the mule is probably an allusion to some domestic 
joke current among the early companions of St. Ignatius; and 
it shows us that Francis had received a budget of personal de- 
tails in the letters from Rome, which he is answering. We sub- 
join the letter written at the same tiaie to Simon Rodriguez, 
who seems to have been expressing a desire to come out to 
India himself. The Fernandez mentioned in the second para- 
graph was a friend of Sim.on's, who seems to have had some 
idea of entering religion in India. The letter contains the 
strongest possible denunciation of the conduct and maxims of 
the Portuguese officials, as well as an earnest entreaty to Simon 
to use his influence with the King to prevent any hindrance 
being put in the way of Miguel Vaz's return. We may add 
to this letter another written to the Society ut Rome without 
further comment. 

Letters to Europe, 275 

(xuii.) To Master Simon Rodriguez^ of the Society 
of Jesus, 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always 
favour and help us ! Amen. 

The letters that I write to Rome I send open to you, that 
you may read them through first and become acquainted with 
the state of things out here, and so be stirred up to send us 
out every year as many as possible to labour in the preaching 
of the Gospel. However many may come, they will find abund- 
ant scope for' great work in the service of God. As to your, 
coming hither yourself, for miy part, if I could feel sure that 
your strength and powers of body were equal to the vigour of 
your mind, I should have been the first to invite you, and 
should have prayed you very much to be so very good as to 
come, supposing, that is, that our Father Ignatius approved 
and had himself suggested the idea to you. For he is our 
Father, and we must obey him, and it would be wrong to 
move hand or foot without his orders. 

Now I must tell you of Diego Fernandez. I saw him at 
Goa in excellent health about a month ago. He lives very 
happily and quite to his own taste in the College of Santa Fe 
with Master Diego de Borba and Don Paul. He works hard 
and strenuously in the service of God, and is so happy in it, 
that he does not regret living there nor working as he does. 
He told me he was writing you a long letter, and I should be 
strongly for your answering him, as he loves you very much 
and is much influenced by you. A letter from you would 
give him incredible pleasure, especially if you tell him that 
you approve of his living in the College of Goa where he 
now is. 

Francis Manclas and I commend ourselves to your fervent 
prayers and to those of all our brothers. We are here in these 
countries at an immense distance, poor clients and dependents 
of yours, and we cling to your help and protection as what are 

276 .St. Francis Xavier. 

to provide for all our hopes and interests. It is a work well 
worthy of your charity, — and here I address my letter to all of 
you together and to each one in particular, — it is a worthy 
work for your goodness and piety to plead our cause with God 
most earnestly with prayers and sacrifices kindled by a holy 
sense of duty, and to obtain for us the many helps and bless- 
ings for body and soul which we so urgently need, and to get 
for the same intention the prayers of others under your spi- 
ritual direction. I also beg you very much and I pray you for 
the love of God, write to me ; or if you cannot do it yourself, 
bid some other of our Society to write, but you must all of 
you write at good length ; not giving me only heads and gene- 
ral facts, but particulars and minute details, telling me of all 
and each of our brothers who are in Portugal, at Rome or 
elsewhere. I assure you that we have nothing left in this life 
which does our souls more good than what we get from such 
letters when the ships come in from Portugal. The letter that 
I aai now writing to our brothers at Rome, if it is not too much 
trouble, show to our excellent friend Pedro Carvalho, and tell 
him from me that as I look on him as one of our brothers at 
Rome and in Portugal, I consider the letters I address to them 
as belonging also to him, and that therefore I have not written 
to him separately. And I should be glad if you would make 
all our brothers who are with you at Lisbon understand the 
same, that so great is my true love for each one of them that 
I sliould have written separately to each, if I had not felt con- 
fident that each would consider this one letter as entirely his 
own, and that so it would supply the place of many. This 
saving of time is a benefit to them and a necessity to me. 

A long time ago, at the request of the Governor, I took 
measures to have certain graces and indulgences asked for 
irom Rome, for the great benefit of these countries, and I am 
writing concerning them this year to his Highness. I entreat 
you, by all the desire you have for the consolation and spi- 
ritual progress of the people out here, and by all the care you 
have to please and do service to our Lord God, see that his 
Highness does not forget them, and that he may please to 

Letters to Europe, lyy 

have the dispatch of these graces urged by his ambassador at 
Rome. I wrote some years ago now, and I have written again 
this year* to our Father Ignatius to obtain from the Pope in 
favour of the high altar of the church at Goa, which serves 
for the members of the College of Santa Fe, a privilege like 
that with which several altars at Rome are distinguished, 
namely, that every time a priest offers the holy sacrifice there 
he delivers a soul from the flames of Purgatory. And if you 
can yourself in any way contribute to the accomplishment of 
this wish, you will do a thing very pleasing to the Governor, 
who earnestly solicits the favour, and all this venerable Col- 
lege and its founders, who so well deserve to have their hopes 

Send us all the subjects you can into India. The greater 
the number the wider will be the extension of the limits of 
holy Church. I have learnt by experience the mischief occa- 
sioned here from the want of men on fire with zeal for the in- 
crease of the holy faith and religion of Jesus Christ our Lord, 
and this is why I so often urge the request that labourers may 
be sent into the field which is already white for the harvest. 
God, who sees the inmost recesses of the soul, knows how I 
long to see you. It would be an incredible joy to me to press 
you to my heart and talk with you face to face. It cannot 
be otherwise, considering your virtues and the other gifts that 
God has so abundantly shed abroad in your soul. The hope 
of reaping the fruit of these by real and actual intercourse 
makes me desire so very intensely to see you again. If it were 
in accordance with the greater advantage, or even the equal 
advantage, of the service of God, that we should be together 
again, how I should be penetrated with the sweetest possible 
joy, and howl should delight in having you here to wait upon, 
God alone, who sees all the secrets of our hearts, can truly 

Do not allow any of your friends to be sent to India with 
the charge of looking after the finances and affairs of the King. 
To such persons we may most truly apply which is written — 
' Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and let their 

278 St, Francis Xavier, 

name not be written among the just.'^^ However great maybe 
your confidence in any one whom you know and love, trust my 
experience and oppose him on this point, and fight to the last 
to prevent him from being exposed to this greatest of dangers. 
Otherwise, unless he be confirmed in grace as were the Apos- 
tles, do not expect to see him persevere in his duty or remain 
constant in innocency. There is here a power, which I may 
call irresistible, to thrust men headlong into the abyss, when 
beside the seductions of gain, and the easy opportunities of 
plunder, their appetite for greed will have been sharpened by 
having tasted it, and there will be a whole torrent of bad 
examples and evil customs to overwhelm and sweep them away. 
Robbery is so public and common that it hurts no one's cha- 
racter, and is hardly counted a fault : people scarcely hesitate 
to think that, what is done with impunity, it cannot be bad to 
do. Everywhere, and at all times, it is rapine, hoarding, and 
robbery. No one thinks of making restitution of what he has 
once taken. The devices by which men steal, the various pre- 
texts under which it is done, who can count ? I never cease 
wondering at the number of new inflexions, which, in addi- 
tion to all the usual forms, have been added, in this new lingo 
of avarice, to the conjugation of that illomened verb 'to rob.' 
And when, in the midst of it all, these unhappy men are called 
out of this world, it is wretched to see in what a miserable 
state of utter neglect and desperate confusion, as to all that 
relates to their hopes of salvation, their poor souls have to 
present themselves before the inexorable tribunal. 

Miguel Vaz, who has been Vicar of the Bishop here, is go- 
ing to Lisbon. You could hardly find a man more burningly 
and zealously devoted to the glory and service of* God. I have 
no doubt that you will see him and talk with him; and I am sure 
that, from the peace and joyfulness of soul which you will re- 
mark in him, united with so vehement a desire for the glory 
of God, you will gather a knowledge and a just estimate of 
his virtues and merits. You may trust entirely to all he says, 

^^ Psalm Ixviii. 29. Deleantur de libro viventium, et cum justis non scri- 
bantur, (Orig.) 

Letters to Europe. 279 

and I am sure he will give you a full and ample account of 
everything here. I am writing to the King about him, urging 
him as strongly as I can, for the relief of my own conscience 
and that of his Highness, to send him back as soon as pos- 
sible. He is a man needed here more than can be told, for 
he it is who defends the lambs of Jesus Christ against the vio- 
lence and snares of wolves whom nothing will satisfy. Miguel 
Vaz is a brave intrepid man ; nothing ever prevents him from 
raising his voice against the persecutors and despoilers of the 
new converts to the religion of Christ. If the King were to 
think of sending some one else here in his place, where — to 
speak of the very least of his merits — could his Highness find 
a person equally experienced in Indian affairs, which during 
the last twelve years he has not only taken part in, but actu- 
ally directed ? Where would he find any one as much beloved 
by the good, and as much feared by the bad ? Depend upon 
it, if the King looks out for any one else, whatever pains he 
may take in his choice, he will run a great risk of failing to 
attain the object he desires. So pray work, I entreat you, 
with much earnestness upon his Highness to send back Mi- 
guel Vaz and no one else. Farewell. 

Your true and most loving brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Cochin, January 22d, 1545. 

(xLiv.) To the Society, at Rome. 

May the ^race and love of Christ our Lord always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

God knows, my dear brothers, how much more happy I 
should be to see you, than to write you this letter, which must 
run its chance as to reaching you on account of the distance 
which divides us. For in truth the Providence which has put 
our bodies with an almost infinite space between them, while 
our minds are all the time most closely united, has not loosened 
the tie of affection which binds us together. It is true, we are 
no longer living together as we used to live, but we are almost 

28o St. Francis Xavier, 

perpetually looking on one another with the eyes of the mind. 
Such is the power of true and genuine friendship, that absent 
friends are present to each other, and enjoy one another's pre- 
sence and conversation in heart. I know that I am always 
thinking of you all, my brethren, and that I do this is a bless- 
ing for which I am indebted to you rather than to myself; for 
your prayers and holy sacrifices which you continually offer for 
me, a miserable sinner, awake in me all this tender remem- 
brance and longing for you. It is you, my beloved brothers, 
it is you who stamp on my heart your own images ', and if I 
am so mindful of you, I am ready to confess that you are still 
more mindful of me. May God reward you as you deserve ; 
for I can give you no other satisfaction than to confess that I 
can in no way repay your deserts, for I see very clearly how 
much I owe to every one and all of the Society. 

Now to speak of what I know you are most anxious to hear 
about — the state of religion in India. In this region of Tra- 
vancore, where I now am, God has drawn very many to the 
faith of His Son Jesus Christ. In the space of one month I 
made Christians of more than ten thousand. This is the method 
I have followed. As soon as I arrived in any heathen village 
where they had sent for me to give baptism, I gave orders for 
all, men, women, and children, to be collected in one place. 
Then, beginning with the first elements of the Christian faith, I 
taught them there is one God — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; 
and at the same time, calling on The three divine Persons and 
One God, I made them each make three times the sign of the 
Cross; then, putting on a surplice, I began to recite in a loud 
voice and in their own language the form of general Confession, 
the Apostles' Creed, the ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, 
the Ave Maria, and the Salve Regiiia. Two years ago I trans- 
lated all these prayers into the language of the country, and 
learned them by heart. I recited them so that all of every 
age and condition followed me in them. Then I began to 
explain shortly the articles of the Creed and the ten Com- 
mandments in the language of the country. Where the people 
appeared to me sufficiently instructed to receive baptism, I 

Letters to Europe, 28 1 

ordered them all to ask God's pardon publicly for the sins of 
their past life, and to do this with a loud voice and in the 
presence of their neighbours still hostile to the Christian reli- 
gion, in order to touch the hearts of the heathen and confirm 
the faith of the good. All the heathen are filled with admira- 
tion at the holiness of the law of God, and express the greatest 
shame at having lived so long in ignorance of the true God. 
They willingly hear about the mysteries and rules of the Chris- 
tian religion, and treat me, poor sinner as I am, with the great- 
est respect. Many, however, put away from them with hardness 
of heart the truth which they well know. When I have done 
my instruction, I ask one by one all those who desire baptism 
if they believe without hesitation in each of the articles of the 
faith. All immediately, holding their arms in the form of the 
Cross, declare with one voice that they believe all entirely. 
Then at last I baptize them in due form, and I give to each 
his name written on a ticket. After their baptism the new 
Christians go back to their houses and bring me their wives 
and families for baptism. When all are baptized I order all 
the temples of their false gods to be destroyed and all the 
idols to be broken in pieces. I can give you no idea of the 
joy I feel in seeing this done, witnessing the destruction of the 
idols by the very people who but lately adored them. In all 
the towns and villages I leave the Christian doctrine in writ- 
ing in the language of the country, and I prescribe at the same 
time the manner in which it is to be taught in the morning 
and evening schools. When I have done all this in one place, 
I pass to another, and so on successively to the rest. In this 
way I go all round the country, bringing the natives into the 
fold of Jesus Christ, and the joy that I feel in this is far too 
great to be expressed in a letter, or even by word of mouth. 

The island of Manaar is about 150 miles from this place. 
Its inhabitants sent me some of their people to beg me to 
go there to baptize them, as they had determined to become 
Christians. I was occupied on affairs of the greatest import- 
ance, relating to the interests of religion, and so could not go 
myself; but I persuaded a certain priest to go instead of me 

282 5/. Francis Xavier. 

and baptize as many as possible. He had already baptized 
a great number, when the Rajah of Jafanapatam, under whose 
dominion the island lies, most cruelly put to death a large 
number of the converts, simply because they had become Chris- 
tians. Let us give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ that even 
in our time He does not let us lack martyrs, and that while 
He sees so few souls avail themselves of all His divine mercy 
and indulgence to work out their salvation, He permits, in the 
mystery of His Providence, that human barbarity should fill 
up the destined ranks and number of the blessed. 

I have already written you word how great a friend the 
Governor of India is to me and to all the Society. He was 
so angry and hidignant at the horrible slaughter of the con- 
verts, that as soon as I began to speak to him about it, he 
ordered a powerful fleet to be fitted out for the destruction of 
the tyrant, and I was obliged myself to restrain the warmth of 
his most righteous indignation. This same Rajah who has put 
the Christians to death has a brother, the legitimate heir to 
the crown, who lives in exile for fear of his brother's cruelty. 
This prince has promised that, if he is put in possession of his 
dominions by the Governor, he will become Christian as well 
as the principal persons of his kingdom. The Governor has 
given orders to his officers to restore him to the throne if he 
embrace the Christian religion, and to put to death the Rajah 
who persecuted the converts, or to treat him as I shall think 
proper. I do not doubt that the prayers of the converts whom 
he has rendered martyrs may win for him the grace to acknow- 
ledge his wickedness and blindness, and that after doing a 
wholesome penance he may obtain pardon from God for so 
much crime and barbarity. 

The island of Ceylon, whither I lately went with Francis 
Mancias, is about 120 miles distant from the Indian continent; 
there a prince, son of one of the Rajahs, had resolved to become 
Christian. When the Rajah heard of his intention he had him 
put to death. The persons present at his execution declare 
that they saw a cross of fire in the heavens, and that on the 
spot where he was slain the earth opened in the form of a 

Letters to Europe, 283 

cross. They add, that many of the inhabitants at the sight 
of these prodigies became disposed to embrace the Christian 
faith. A brother of the prince I have mentioned, touched by 
these marvellous events, persuaded a certain priest to give him 
baptism. He has now taken refage with the Governor of 
India in order to ask his assistance against the Rajah who 
killed his brother. I met and talked with this prince in the 
course of his journey, and I have great hope, from what he 
said, of seeing that kingdom before long embrace the faith of 
Jesus Christ. The people are strongly moved by the prodigies 
and signs which have taken place; and the prince who has 
lately become a Christian is the heir to the throne. 

In the kingdom of Macazar, about 500 leagues distant 
from Travancore, three of the chief princes and many of the 
other inhabitants came into the Church of Jesus Christ eight 
months ago. They have sent messengers to Malacca, a city 
belonging to the King of Portugal, to ask for persons able to 
instruct them in the law of God ; and have declared that, 
having lived hitherto like animals without reason, they intend 
for the future to live like men, as soon as they shall have re- 
ceived the knowledge and religion of the true God. The Com- 
mandant of Malacca has sent them some priests who are to 
instruct them. You may judge from this alone, my very dear 
brothers, what great and what fertile harvests this uncultivated 
field promises to produce. This part of the world is so ready, 
so teeming with shooting corn, as I may say, that I hope within 
this very year to make as many as a hundred thousand Chris- 
tians. Fray the Lord of the harvest that He seiid forth labotirers 
into His harvest?^ If any persons come to these countries, 
where the fields are already white unto the harvest,'^ in 
the desire of extending the worship of God and propagating 
religion, they will be received not only courteously but with 
real affection by the Portuguese, so that they will have all 
necessaries supplied them in abundance. The Portuguese 
nation is in fact so desirous of the extension of the Christian 

^5^ rotate Dominum messis, ut mittat operarios in messem suam. (Orig.) 
18 ubi campijam stint alhi ad messem. (Orig.) 

284 St, Francis Xavier, 

faith, that if there was no other motive, this pious zeal of 
theirs and their great friendliness to our Society ought certainly 
to draw many of you hither. And now what ought you to do 
when you see the minds of these people so well prepared to 
receive the seed of the Gospel ? May God make known to 
you His most holy will, and give you at the same time strength 
and courage to carry it out ; and may He in His Providence 
send as many as possible of you into this country ! 

The least and most lonely of your brothers, 


From Cochin, January 27th, 1545. 

We needliardly make much commentary on the earlier para- 
graphs of this last letter. There is the same immense over- 
flowing tenderness of heart in the passage in which St. Francis 
speaks of his constant memory of his distant brethren. The ac- 
count of the work in Travancore shows us that he kept to his 
usual and most laborious method in evangelizing that new tract 
of country, and we may fairly gather from it that the work was al- 
most complete, at least as to the foundation of the new Churches. 
The affairs of Manaar and Ceylon have already been specially 
mentioned. The last paragraph of the letter, however, refers 
to some events which had a very great influence on the course 
of St. Francis' labours in the East, and the thoughts which 
they suggested to him as the direction of his future career had 
been now for some time working in his mind. The whole 
story, like that of the expedition against Jafanapatam, is thor- 
oughly characteristic of the times and of the proceedings of 
the Portuguese in the East, and deserves to be given almost 
as we find it in the old annalists of their empire. 

The island that Francis Xavier calls Macazar is that which 
is now known generally by the name of Celebes, Macazar or 
Macassar being the name of one of many small kingdoms or 
territories into which it was divided. Portuguese traders had 
for some years visited it for purposes of traffic, the sandal- 
wood and other productions of the island being much in re- 
quest among them. St. Francis mentions eight months before 
the date of his letter as the time at which the conversions of 

Tidings jrom Macazar, 285 

which he speaks took place. They were brought about by a 
captain named Antonio de Payva, who was in charge of a ship 
belonging to Rodrigo Vaz Pereira. It appears that Payva had 
some time before made the acquaintance of the petty King of 
Sian, which is called by some one of the territories of Macazar, 
by others a separate island,'9 and had begun to talk with him 
on matters of religion. But he had to sail away without having 
finished the King's conversion. On a later voyage he came 
to Supa, a port of Celebes, the capital of another small king- 
dom. The King of Supa was an old man of seventy, who 
came down to the sea to meet the Portuguese merchant, with 
a youth the heir to his throne and a court of thirty ladies, 
splendidly dressed and loaded with jewels. Payva accepted 
his hospitality, and before long began to talk about religion, 
a subject very much discussed in those parts at that time, as 
the Mussulmans of Java were endeavouring to induce the 
Malay princes to adopt the creed of Mahomet. The King 
asked Payva why the Christians hated the Mussulmans so 
much, and received in answer an instruction on the filthy 
sensuality of the Mahometan law, and the purity and holiness 
of the Gospel. 

Payva then left the old King half persuaded, and sailed 
away to his former friend at Sian. Here, as we are told, he 
had a long discussion, first as to what was meant by holiness, 
and then as to what was a lie. Payva's speech on this latter 
question is singularly characteristic. He told the King that he 
would tell him the truth with all the openness and sincerity 
which were due to the sublime nature of the religious subjects 
on which they were discoursing, and also to a prince so highly 
gifted with good qualities as himself. To lie to a King, who 
represented God on earth, was to lie to God, and God would 
not so far abandon him as to let him do this. He would 
speak out of obedience and a sense of duty — only, let the King 
promise him one thing,— that if he made him angry by what 
he should say, that anger might fall on himself and not on his 
innocent companions. He might freely risk his own life, but 
19 There is an island, Siao, not far to the northeast of Celebes. 

286 St, Francis Xavier, 

not theirs, although they would all die gloriously in an attempt 
to bring about the salvation of the King and his people. After 
receiving the pledge he required, Payva said boldly that the 
best instance of a lie which he could name was the religion 
which the King and his subjects professed, in which devils, 
the authors of all evil since the beginning of the world, were 
worshipped instead of the true God, the sacrifices and rites 
of which were abominable, as well as false, the doctrine more 
fabulous than the merest dream, and the manners taught by 
which were more fit for wild beasts than for men ; and all the 
while they had no knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of the 
living God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life ; and their whole 
existence was so encompassed and penetrated with lying, that 
they asked what it was, as a thing which they knew not. Jesus 
Christ was the Truth, and the King's religion was a lie. It 
seems that at the time of Payva's visit the island was in want 
of rain, after a long drought, and while he was speaking the 
sky became overclouded, and one of |the violent rainstorms 
of the tropics, with thunder and lightning, came on. It was 
looked on as a sign from heaven that Payva's words were true. 
While the King was still hesitating, a fleet arrived in the 
harbour, which at first caused some alarm, as it was well armed 
and numerous : but it turned out to be the fleet of the King 
of Supa, who had come with a large court to seek for Payva. 
He asked whether the King of Sian had been baptized, and 
was told that he had taken time to consider. A thing so im- 
portant as the salvation of the soul, he answered, was not to 
be put off, and he asked himself to be baptized at once. The 
Portuguese had no priest with them, so the oldest man bap- 
tized him by the name of Don Luis : his queen followed his 
example, with a large number of the nobles and soldiers in 
her train ; and the ceremony of baptism was accompanied by 
the discharge of all the artillery, by music, and all the other 
resources of oriental feast-keeping. The example of the court 
of Supa was irresistible to that of Sian, and the King with a 
large following was baptized, taking the name of Don Juan or 
Joam, after the King of Portugal. *So,' says Faria y Sousa, 

Tidings from Macazar. 287 

*two Courts and two Kings at the same time placed their 
necks, untamed throughout so many centuries, under the sweet 
yoke of Christ, by one of the most rare and unexpected means 
which that divine husbandry ever made gain by. So did Antonio 
de Payva, passing from his profane trafficking to a so illus 
trious and abundant merchandise, come to make himself the 
fellow of the sacred Evangelist Matthew, who had the wit from 
being a man of trade to change himself to an Apostle. '^o 

The newly converted princes sent, as St. Francis tells us, 
to the Governor of Malacca for priests to instruct them, and 
the tidings of this application had reached Xavier some time, 
as it appears, after his arrival at Cochin on his way to meet 
the Governor at Cambaia. These tidings seem to have fallen 
upon him wdth the vv^eight of a providential intimation that it 
was for him to undertake the farther conversion and instruc- 
tion of the people of Macazar — a work which had many attrac- 
tions in itself, as the natives of Celebes were Malays, and 
there was as yet no mixture of false religions among them, 
Mahometanism not having as yet taken root ; moreover, there 
seemed, as we shall find farther on, a chance that the good 
done by the missionary would not be frustrated and spoiled by 
the misconduct of any Portuguese officials. The coming of the 
new Fathers from Europe gave him an opportunity of supplying 
the missions of Travancore and the Fishery Coast with priests, 
so that his own presence was no longer absolutely necessary. 
Perhaps, too, he felt that until Miguel Vaz should return and 
bring with him the strict injunctions and measures of retribu- 
tion which were so urgently needed, he himself would labour 
with httle hope of effecting permanent good in the continent of 
India. When we look at the remainder of his Apostolate in 
the East, we can see how his voyage to Malacca and his de- 
signs on Macazar led him on in the end to Japan and to the 

20 Asia Portu^uesa, t. ii. p. i. cap. 13. Bartoli, Asia, t. i. p. 88, tells the 
story rather differently from Faria y Sousa, but the substance is the same. In 
his account the speech about lying is addressed to the Kingof Supa, and Payva, 
in his last discourse to the King of Sian, dwells particularly on the beauty of 
Christian works of mercy. The rainstorm, also, is omitted by Bartoli. 

288 St, Francis Xavier, 

coast of China, and how the news of the success of Antonio 
de Payva was, in fact, a turning point in his career. But the 
matter as yet presented itself to him only as an uncertain 
prompting, and it was long before the light fully dawned on 
his soul which made it clear to him that it was the will of God 
that he should now proceed farther eastward. 

Francis sailed for Negapatam, taking Ceylon, Manaar, and 
a small island called De las Vaccas, near Manaar, in his way, 
not long after the date of the letter which we have last in- 
serted. The voyage to Ceylon was signalized by another won- 
derful conversion. This time it was the pilot of the vessel; a 
man who had for years led a licentious life, neglecting in con- 
sequence the sacraments ; he had two mistresses on board the 
ship during this very voyage. Francis won his heart by kind 
familiar conversation, talking to him on the subjects connected 
with his business, the weather, the stars, and the like, leaving 
the poor man himself to begin to speak on religion. At last 
the pilot opened his heart to him, and told him how long he 
had been without confession, promising to approach the sacra- 
ments as soon as they got to land. When the time came — it 
is not certain whether it was at Colombo or at Galle — he re- 
pented of his promise, and avoided the sight of the Father. He 
met him, however, by chance, on the shore, and rather out of 
shame than any better feeling, asked him when he would hear 
his confession. Francis told him to begin at once, and they 
paced up and down for a time, while the pilot confessed some 
of his sins in a perfunctory way, without, however, being in- 
terrupted or reproved. Grace meanwhile was working in his 
heart, and he began to be pierced with true contrition. Then 
Francis led him aside into a little chapel, brought him a cushion 
or mat to kneel upon, and helped him to make a thorough and 
perfect confession, which led to an entire change of his life.-^ 

21 The Processes relate two celebrated miracles of St. Francis at this time. 
He raised a child to life on the island De las Vaccas, When he landed at Ma- 
naar a pestilence was raging, and about a hundred died everyday. The people 
came to beg him to pray for them. He retired for three days, which he spent 
in prayer, after which the pestilence ceased. 

Negapatam, 289 


When he arrived at Negapatam, Francis found the Portu- 
guese armament almost ready to sail, but the expedition was 
put an end to by a strange accident. A Portuguese vessel, 
richly laden with merchandise from Pegu, ran ashore on the 
coast of Jafanapatam, and was at once seized by the Rajah- 
The Portuguese officers at Negapatam were either interested 
themselves in the cargo or had friends whose money had been 
staked in it, and they thought of nothing for the jnoment but 
of recovering it from the Rajah by negotiations. He was pro- 
bably glad enough to buy them off so easily ; at all events, the 
expedition was abandoned. It is probable that the unpopu- 
larity of the Governor, of which we hear much in the annalists, 
and the want of real Christian zeal on the part of many of the 
officers, had much to do with the failure of the enterprize. 

It does not seem to have been finally abandoned when the 
following letter — the last of the series to Mancias, now a 
priest in charge of the Travancore mission — was written from 

(xLV.) To Father Francis Mancias. 

My dearest Father and Brother, 

God, the witness and judge of my inmost feelings, 
knows how far rather I would talk with you face to face 
than write to you from a distance, for so I could more fully 
and diligently give you by word of mouth the form and method 
hich you should use in your work and your conduct in 
e country where you are, so as duly to discharge the grave 
uties incumbent upon you of doing service to our Lord God 
y the right administration of that newly founded Church, and 
by watchfully keeping guard on every side and in every way 
over the tender flock of Christians newly gathered into the 
fold of Christ which is committed to your care. But now I 
mean to give you hints about all this in a few words, in the 
best manner that I can, for I am quite uncertain what is before 
me, and so I am bound to snatch whatever opportunity I can 
get of giving you counsel. 

VOL. I. u 

290 St, Francis Xavier. 

May our Lord grant us soon what we so ardently desire, 
and have been long waiting for — some certain indication of 
His most holy will as to the work and the place in which He 
desires that I should employ myself with the greatest useful- 
ness to the interests of His divine service ! We hang upon His 
nod, and by His grace are entirely disposed to follow out at 
once what and whatsoever it may be to which He may show 
that His will inclines. He has sometimes wonderful means of 
manifesting His will, — secret touches, which pierce the depths 
of the soul and flood it with light from heaven, so that the soul 
which is struck by these divine beams can feel no doubt at all 
where God desires it to go and what work to undertake. " It 
has been most truly said of mortals such as we are in this life, 
that, in order to acquit themselves of what is required of their 
state and condition, they ought to be as strangers and travel- 
lers, who are entangled by no attachment to place or thing 
which might prevent them from flitting freely hither or thi- 
ther, and starting up in all readiness at a moment's notice 
whithersoever the purpose of their journey and the object in 
which their hopes are summed up may invite. Just in this 
way we, first of all, ought to have our minds prepared, to be 
standing with girt loins, glowing with alacrity for either of 
different and even contrary occupations or scenes of labour, 
equally disposed to obey any yet uncertain command, and to 
fly whithersoever we may be directed by the indication of the 
will of Him Who sends us. East, west, north, or south, all 
are the same : the single thing in all that has to be noticed as 
making any difl'erence in our choice being the consideration 
which we see of more or less opportunity promised us of ad- 
vancing God's honour most usefully and most conspicuously. 

I learn from certain information that a great door is opened 
to the Gospel in the neighbourhood of Malacca, and that a field 
is there to be found in which it seems that any industry of ours 
may give itself full course, with the most probable hope of see- 
ing great rewards for its labour in the service of God. They say 
the harvest is ripe and only wants reapers ; that it is certain 
that the only reason why great numbers out there do not adopt 

Negapatam, 291 

the religion of Jesus Christ is because no one calls them to it. 
I confess the opportunity of increasing the kingdom of Jesus 
Christ and extending the boundaries of the Church has a most 
fascinating attraction for me ; but I am detained here by this 
affair of Jafanapatam, the issue of which still hangs in doubt. 
This is the only difficulty which prevents my making up my 
mind to go to Malacca, and if time shall settle it — I was in 
hopes it would be settled in the course of this next May — I 
shall go thither at once, and if then I can see for certain that 
God wishes to use my work in the island of Macazar, — where it 
is said that many persons have lately become Christians, and 
as letters inform us, the king of the place himself has asked for 
preachers of the Gospel from Malacca, whom I am afraid he 
may not have been able to get, for I think there are no fit 
persons to be found there, — I say, if I make up my mind before 
the end of May to go to Malacca, I shall not sail without 
having dispatched a message to my Lord Governor, to let him 
know my resolution, and to ask for letters of introduction to 
the Commandant of Malacca, ordering him to assist and further 
our work in whatever way we want his help in serving God our 
Lord in the conversion of those nations. If these things fall 
out as I have arranged, and it should be necessary for me to 
sail to Macazar, I shall still not embark without writing to you 
from Malacca, and informing you of the whole matter. 

Meantime I beg you not to lose heart or to let your cour- 
age be worn out, and never slacken your efforts in the long and 
toilsome work of cultivating those poor ignorant people where 
you are. Keep on going round the villages, preach to the 
people every day, and especially be most diligent in your vigil- 
ance to leave no newborn infants unbaptized. Pay the great- 
est attention everywhere to the instruction of the children in 
the day schools of the Christian doctrine, and take constant 
care to make the masters who are set over them do their duty 
with the greatest faithfulness. You will receive from Joam de 
Cruz 2000 fanams, a sum which he has collected to be applied 
to instructing the children. Ask, also, Father Joam de Lizana 
to give you the sum of money which you left with him, destined 

2 92 St, Francis Xavier. 

to the same purpose ; and if anywhere you find it necessary, 
set up new schools or repair the old, taking all pains and care 
that in every single village and hamlet in the whole coast the 
children are constantly taught the elements of the Christian 
doctrine, and the prayers which they ought to know by heart. 
Do not fix your own dwelling place or even stay long anywhere, 
but constantly visit over and over again all the churches, as I 
used to do when I was in this country. And be quite certain 
that in this way of action you will gain great favour with God. 

When I was at Munahpaud I learned the mischief that had 
been done to the church of that place, and I made an exact 
calculation of the sums necessary to repair it. Diego Rebello 
must be applied to for this money, in whose hands I have 
placed 2 GOO fanams, which the Rajah of Travancore gave me 
for building Christian churches in his states. Father Francis 
Coelho has already spent a part of this sum. He can tell you 
himself how much it is. Those other 2000 fanams in the hands 
of Joam de Cruz are to be spent, as long as they last, solely 
for masters and schools. And I seem to myself never to have 
said enough about one thing, and this it is which I wish you 
above all else to take care to do most constantly and most 
diligently — I mean the perpetual going round all the villages, 
one after another, never omitting to preach the word of God 
and to administer the sacraments, as you find the people, 
wherever you go, to need them ; and I do not commit to your 
charge the laity alone, but the priests and clergy who have 
been ordained from among the Malabars. Look up these first 
of all, give them serious admonitions, and make use of any 
means which circumstances may require to make them live in 
piety and chastity, exercising their ministry for the glory of 
God, and giving wholesome examples of innocence and virtue 
to the people. 

I forgot, as to Joam de Lizana, to tell you to deduct from 
the sum he has in his hands and which you are to ask him for, 
a hundred fanams which he lent me when you were at Panical, 
and which I spent on the ordinary service of the churches 
and catechetical lessons. You must therefore deduct this sum 

Negapatam, 293 

from the amount of the funds set apart for the expenses of the 
schools. I moreover enjoin you to avoid most scrupulously- 
employing for any other purpose, however good, the money 
collected for the salaries of the catechists and teachers. 

I am rather afraid you may be angry with me, as if I dis- 
trusted your memory, and so went on for ever thrusting on you 
the same advice over and over again. But you must forgive my 
anxiety, which may perhaps go beyond measure, and make me 
more careful than I need be in my overflowing desire to secure 
what I want, and take in good part that I again most urgently 
beg of you always to give the -first place in your care to those 
two heads which I most earnestly commend to you, as matters 
which in my judgment are of the very highest moment. The 
first relates to your going perpetually round and round to visit 
the villages most assiduously, and without giving yourself any 
rest or stopping long anywhere; everywhere baptizing new- 
born infants, and instructing or providing for the instruction 
of the elder children who are capable of being taught. The 
second has reference to the sharp and careful vigilance to 
which I wish you to devote yourself in searching out the 
conduct of the native clerics of Malabar, and the example 
which they set the people ; lest they not only incur eternal 
damnation themselves, but draw others also with them to 
hell. If you find anything wrong in them, put it down at 
once, for God's sake, and chastise them quickly and severely ; 
for if we were to let the full powers which we have for this 
remain unused, like a sword in its scabbard, when occasion 
urged us to punish very serious offences against God, especially 
when there is cause of scandal to many, it would be imputed 
to us as a great crime hardly to be expiated by much punish- 

Do all you can to help Cosmo de Payva to rid his con- 
science of the burthen of the many thefts and acts of rapine 
by which he has so licentiously made the whole coast full of 
his deeds of violence, as also the exactions, the criminal 
acts and murders which were committed at Tuticorin on ac- 
count of his unbridled avarice. Go and see him in private, 

294 St. Francis Xavier. 

and show him kindly how much it concerns his honour to 
make restitution of the money which he extorted from the poor 
wretches whom the Portuguese put to death. I would write 
to him myself if I had any hope that the fruit of my doing so 
would be any amendment in him. But I wish you to tell him 
in my name that I can never cease from the duty incumbent 
upon me, of making known to the King and to the Lord 
Governor of India, by letter or word of mouth, his most wicked, that they may punish him as he deserves ; and also 
of applying to Prince Don Henry, the President of the Holy 
Tribunal for Capital Questions in Religion,^^ that in virtue of 
his supreme authority in foro ecclesiastico he act against him 
according to law, as one who hinders the conversion of the 
heathen by barbarously persecuting the converts who have 
lately received the holy law and faith of Jesus Christ; and add 
at the end that there is only one way of closing my mouth 
and averting the severe punishments which are on the point 
of overtaking him. This way is a speedy and conspicuous re- 
pentance, showing itself in works which may satisfy the public 
scandal he has caused, by restoring at once all his ill acquired 
treasures, and giving the other public proofs, such as our Chris- 
tian discipline exacts, that he sincerely repents and condemns 
his past crimes, and promises to lead an innocent life for the 

If Joam d'Artiaga is still on the coast, it is my wish you 
should not allow him to reside there any longer ; and in order 
to oblige him to go away, you will give strict charge to Cosmo 
de Pay va not to remit any more money for his support, at least 
from any funds that would be charged to our account, because 
we do not consider it expedient that he should stay any longer 
in the country. Receive with all hospitality Vasco Fernandez, 
who will deliver this letter to you, for I hope from the good- 
ness of God, which has already begun to shed on him singular 
graces, that some day he will make one of our Society. He 
is a young man of excellent conduct, and burning with great 
desires of serving God with generosity ; and how right it is 
22 The Holy Office. 

'Negapatam, 295 

for us to help on and encourage such with all our might, I am 
sure you will understand of yourself, even if I do not tell you. 
I expect to receive full and careful letters from you, telling me 
at good length all particulars, how your health is, how you 
succeed in your work, whether the Cliristians whom you have 
the care of are making progress and how far, whether Cosmo 
de Payva has at all come to a better mind, and whether he 
has given back what he took away to the Christians whom he 
has robbed. May God our Lord be with you all, to give you 
all the aid that I desire from Him for myself! Farewell. 
Your brother in Jesus Christ, 


From Negapatam, April 7th, 1545. 

This letter to Mancias — the last which remains to us of 
those addressed to him by Francis Xavier, and perhaps the 
last that was actually so addressed — is remarkable on many 
accounts. It was written after the abandonment of the expe- 
dition against Jafanapatam, of which, however, Xavier seems 
to have been so reluctant to give up all hopes that he speaks 
as if it were still undecided. We find him saying, in the letter 
immediately following this, that he had been prevented from 
returning to the Fishery Coast or Travancore from Negapatam 
by the unfavourable winds, and that he had taken the impos- 
sibility of saiUng westward as an intimation from above, and 
determined to visit Meliapor, or the city of St. Thomas, to seek 
for light from heaven at the shrine of the first Apostle of India. 
He says nothing to Mancias about the causes of the failure of 
the expedition, but we may guess that he did not think of re- 
turning to the parts in which Mancias was labouring, by the 
urgency of his instructions as to the carrying on of the work, 
and by his seizing the occasion which presented itself to write. 
We are told that Francis had embarked for Meliapor on Palm 
Sunday, March 29. After proceeding some distance, the vessel 
was caught by a storm, which forced it to take shelter under 
the lee of a projection of land, where it remained during Holy 
Week, which Francis passed on shore in prayer and the most 
rigorous fasting. They set sail again about Easter Day, but 

2g6 St. Francis Xavier. 

were again driven back by a tempest,^^ this time to Negapatam, 
whence the letter was written on Easter Tuesday. The week 
spent in prayer and contemplation of the Passion of our Lord 
had not, as we see, revealed to Francis any clear knowledge 
of his future destination, and, as he tells the Fathers at Goa to 
whom the next letter is written, it did not come to him till he 
had been some time at Meliapor. There is great gravity and 
even severity about many of the directions. The letter is un- 
like those written to Mancias before he was a priest, and he 
is exhorted to look after the Malabar priests as well as the 
laity, and to take great care lest the former set a bad example 
and lead a life unworthy of their sacred calling. The passage 
about Cosmo de Payva is in the same strain of apostolical 
liberty with the letter to the King of Portugal already given. 
Joam d'Artiaga has again been giving trouble, and he is dis- 
missed altogether from the mission. 

The tempest which had driven back the ship in which 
Francis Xavier was sailing to Meliapor did not prevent his 
departure for that city. He made the journey overland on 
foot, and must have suffered great hardships and even dangers 
on the way : but he was now in one of those stages of his life 
when he was drawn specially to give himself to prayer and the 
most earnest seeking for light from God, and at such times he 
was ^most disposed to be alone and to embrace penance of 
every sort. He arrived at Meliapor in the course of April, 
and took up his quarters in the house of the Vicar (or parish 
priest), Gaspar Coelho, which was close to the church of St. 

The fame of the shrine of this Apostle, and the frequent 
miracles wrought there, are attested both by the historians of 
India and the biographers of Francis Xavier. According to 
old tradition, he had been martyred at Salamiua, a city out 
of the ruins of which Meliapor seems to have risen. MafFei-^ 
relates how the Apostle was said to have predicted that when 

23 Francis is said to have predicted this tempest, urging the captain to put 
back to port, before there were any signs of a storm. 
^ Hist. Indie, t. ii. p. 37. 

Meliapor. 297 

the sea reached a certain stone cross which he had erected, 
which was then ten leagues from the shore, white men would 
come from the most distant parts of the earth to revive the re- 
ligion which he had preached in India. The sea gained upon 
the land for centuries along that coast, and reached the stone 
at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese. Thus the ancient 
city had been in great part swallowed up. Meliapor, however, 
was the chief city and mart on the Coromandel Coast, and a 
place of great importance. One of the first orders issued to 
the Governor of India by King John of Portugal, on coming 
to the throne in 15 21, had been to search for the relics of the 
Apostle and show them due honour. The constant and uni- 
versal tradition of the country pointed out the spot. Maffei 
in another part of his history gives a detailed account of the 
discovery of the body of St. Thomas,25 which was found with 
a staff, the lance which had been the instrument of his martyr- 
dom, and a little vessel containing some blood. The relics 
were afterwards removed to Goa, but at the time of the visit 
of Francis Xavier they were still in the church at Meliapor. 
A fine church had been built by the Portuguese over the little 
chapel of wood which was said to have been built by the 
Apostle, and by the side of this, in a smaller chapel, the sacred 
body rested. Here it was, then, that Francis Xavier spent many 
a night in prayer, communing, as it were, with the first preacher 
of the Gospel in the Indies as to his own future course of labour 
for the salvation of the East. He stole out at night, across the 
Htde garden which separated the house from the church, as 
soon as he observed that the Vicar, who slept in the same 
room, was fast asleep. Here he is said to have been frequently 
molested and even beaten and bruised during his long vigil by 
the devil, and at other times to have been disturbed and an- 
noyed by strange phantoms. He persevered through all, and 
obtained, as we see from the following letter, the divine illumin- 
ation which he sought so earnestly and faithfully. 

26 Hist. Indie, t. viii. p, 157. The spot is now a suburb of Madras. 

298 St, Francis Xavier, 

(xLvi.) To the Fathers Diego de Borba and Paul of 
Camerino (^at Goa), 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

The Jafanapatam expedition has just come to nought. So 
the Rajah, who had promised to become Christian, has not been 
reestablished in his dominions. An accident ruined the whole 
thing. A vessel of the King of Portugal's, returning from Pegu 
to the Indies with a full cargo, was driven ashore by a storm 
on the coast of the kingdom of Jafanapatam. The Rajah im- 
mediately seized the cargo. The Portuguese have been pleased 
to put off the war till they have recovered their property. Thus 
it is that what the Governor ordered has not been done. But 
it will be done yet, if so it please God. 

I stayed several days at Negapatam, and then the wind, 
which was adverse to our return westward, prevented my set- 
ting out homeward. So I took this accident as a piece of ad- 
vice, and betook myself to the city of St. Thomas. Then in the 
holy church of the Apostle I set myself to implore God, with 
continual prayer, to be pleased to make known to me His will, 
which I had fully made up my mind not to fail in accomplish- 
ing, for I was confident that He Who gives the will would give 
also strength to accomplish it.^^ And so here God in His infinite 
mercy has been pleased to remember me. With my soul flooded 
with an indescribable joy, I understood that God desired me 
to go to Malacca, and from thence to Macazar, where a great 
number of natives have lately become Christians, and there 
confirm these new converts in the faith which they have em- 

I have had translated into their language, with short ex- 
planations, the elements and precepts of the Christian religion. 
It is quite right that those who have of their own accord be- 
come Christians should receive from us every kind of assistance, 
and that to be able to ask God to increase their faith and to 

26 Qui dedit velle, daret etiam perficere. (Orig.) 

Meliapor, 299 

give them strength necessary to observe the divine law, they 
should have at hand prayers translated into their own language, 
the Pater Noster^ the Hail Mary, and other prayers, and espe- 
cially the formula of general confession. If they make use 
of it every day to confess their sins to God, it will take the 
place of sacramental confession until they have priests amongst 
them who know the language of Macazar. 

Father Francis Mancias, with some Malabar priests, re- 
mains among the Christians of Comorin. Where they are my 
work is not wanted. The Fathers who have wintered at Mo- 
zambique, and others whom we expect from Europe this year, 
will accompany the Cingalese princes when they return to their 
own country. I hope much that God will give me great help 
for my voyage, since, as I have told you. He has condescended 
to let me know, with so much interior delight in my soul, what 
it is that most of all He requires of me, and I am so firmly 
resolved to accomplish what by His divine inspiration I have 
conceived, that if I were by any chance to leave it undone I 
should simply seem to myself to fight against God, and to have 
no right to hope for anything either in this life or after death. 
So if this year I can find no opportunity of going by a Portu- 
guese ship, I shall not be afraid to trust myself to a Mussul- 
man or heathen vessel sailing for Malacca. And I have so 
much confidence in God, for Whom alone I undertake this 
voyage, that even if there were to be no merchant vessel this 
year, and some open boat were to set out from hence to Ma- 
lacca, I should not hesitate, relying on the help of God, to 
make the voyage in that. In truth, all my hope is fixed and 
rests in God. For His sake, therefore, I beg of you, my dearest 
brothers, not to cease to commend me, a poor sinner, to Him 
in your daily masses and continual prayers. I think I shall set 
out for Malacca towards the end of August, for the ships which 
are to sail thither wait for favourable weather, which generally 
comes about that season. I have asked the Governor of India 
for an order in writing to the Commandant of Malacca to provide 
me with a vessel and all other things necessary for the voyage 
to Macazar. I charge you of your charity to see that this order 

300 St, Francis Xavier, 

is made out and sent by the bearer of this letter. Send me at 
the same time a small Roman Breviary. Say a great many kind 
things in my name to Cosmo Anez, our very good friend and 
the most faithful of men. I do not write to him separately, 
because this letter is intended for all three of you. 

If any members of the Society arrive who are foreigners 
and ignorant of the Portuguese language, they will have to 
learn it, otherwise there will be no one in these parts to un- 
derstand what they say. I will write to you from Malacca, to 
tell you about the conversions already made and how the hea- 
thens are prepared, so that you may send us thither men fit 
to propagate our holy Christian faith among them, for you 
must make the house which is called after the holy faith 
justify its name. I will write to you more fully by the para- 
messes-7 which will sail in July. May our Lord bring us to- 
gether in His blessed kingdom ! for I know not whether we 
shall ever see each other again in this life. 


The city of St. Thomas, May 8th, 1545. 

Meliapor was a city of predilection to Francis Xavier. It 
was not by any means free from the scandals which prevailed 
at Goa and elsewhere. There were only about a hundred Por- 
tuguese families settled in the place, and the evil influences of 
the pagan corruption around them, as well as the enervating 
effects of the climate, had made large inroads on their Chris- 
tian virtue. Nevertheless, the city won Francis' heart, for he 
found its people docile and ready for improvement, and no 
doubt the immense consolations which he received at the shrine 
of St. Thomas, after his future course had become clear to him, 
made him love the spot on which he had been so blessed. 
He spent four bright happy months at Meliapor. His days were 
given to labours for the spiritual good of the inhabitants, and 
his nights, except the short portion which he allotted to ne- 
cessary rest, in prayer and contemplation. Some anecdotes of 
this time are given in the biographies. They all witness to the 
kind of magic which his presence exercised over the popula- 
27 native boats. 

Meliapor, 30; 

tion, especially the Portuguese, who, even when they were 
leading vicious lives, still preserved their faith, and were easily 
won by his sweet gay affability and the charm of his eminent 
holiness. All over the East he was already known as the holy 
Father, and so many of his wonderful sayings and predictions 
had come true that every one was convinced that neglect of 
his admonitions would be speedily followed by punishment 
from heaven. Once, as if forced by poverty, he asked a rich 
cavalier to give him a dinner. The man was living in open sin 
with a mistress to whom he was fanatically attached, and this 
lady was at table, and the walls were hung round with licen- 
tious paintings. Francis took no notice of anything, spoke to 
the lady as if she had been the cavalier's wife, talked pleasantly 
and at the same time seriously till dinner was over, and then 
took his leave with a thousand thanks to his host for having 
been so charitable as to feed him. The man's heart smote him 
as soon as Francis was gone, and when he thought of all that 
his guest's virginal modesty must have had to suffer during the 
repast, he was melted at the thought of so much charity. He 
was soon at the feet of Francis, asking him to hear his con- 
fession, and became a changed man for the rest of his life.^s 
A certain Jerome Fernandez used to tell afterwards how he 
had been on a vessel which had been taken by pirates, and 
had only escaped by swimming ashore without anything but 
his clothes. He applied for alms to Francis, who put his hand 
into his purse and found nothing, and then, raising his eyes to 
heaven, and bidding him" not despair, so great was the mercy 
of God, he took out of it a handful of gold fanams, and gave 
them to Fernandez. Another, a merchant, went to ask his 
blessing, as he was going on a distant voyage. Francis took 
his own rosary and gave it him, telling him that it would be 
of use to him if he had confidence in the prayers of the Blessed 
Virgin. The merchant was saved on a plank from a shipwreck 

-8 Massei, 1. ii. c. 7. Massei says he had not been to confession for fifteen 
years. Another penitent is mentioned by Bartoli, who had been away from the 
sacraments for twenty years, and was for a fortnight seen in the church daily, 
making his confession. 

30 2 St. Francis Xavier. 

in which most of those with him were lost, calling on our Blessed 
Lady, and holding the rosary in his hands. 

The story of Joam d'Eyro, a young merchant who gave his 
goods to the poor and became Francis' companion in his voy- 
age to Malacca, is told by all the biographers of St. Francis, 
and is alluded to in the first letter which was written by the 
Saint after his arrival at that place. We may give it partly in 
the words of the English translation of Turselline, partly in 
those of Lucena, who had seen the sworn deposition. * There 
was a certain young man, a merchant, called John d'Eyro, who 
came to Francis to confession, and hearing him discourse of 
divine matters, found there were certain other merchandize far 
richer than those with which he trafficked, and of which he 
had never heard before. Wherefore, giving over his former 
trading, and desirous to become a merchant of more precious 
wares, he entreated Francis to receive him for his companion.' 
[The writer means his companion- in the Society.] 'He at 
first refused him absolutely (because, perhaps, he saw in him 
a secret inconstancy and intractable disposition), yet at last, 
by much entreaty, he obtained his desire, and so, settling his 
affairs, began to distribute his goods among the poor. But 
in executing of this his good purpose he was more forward 
than constant. For whilst he was busied about selling of his 
wares, he was vehemently solicited by the common enemy of 
mankind, who did so work upon him that having set his hand 
to the plough, on a sudden he began to look back, and sought 
again most greedily after those things which a little before he 
had contemned. Being thus wholly changed in mind, he packed 
up his merchandize in the most private way he could and con- 
veyed them into a ship, intending to be gone. But although 
he deceived others, yet he could not deceive Francis, the which 
he most of all sought to do. Now having gotten all things 
together which he thought requisite, as he was about to take 
shipping, Xavier upon a sudden causeth him to be called unto 
him.'29 He sent after him a lad called Antonio, says Lucena. 
The young merchant thought at first to brave it out. *You 

29 Turselline, lib. ii. c. 17. 

Meliapor, 303 

are wrong, my child,' he said, * I am not the man you seek.» 
* What,' said the boy, * are you not called Joam d'Eyro ?' * Yes,' 
he said. 'Well, sir. Father Master Francis sent me to run 
quick, and find and call to him Joam d'Eyro.' There was a 
battle in the man's heart; but at last he determined to go, 
trusting in his own great secrecy, says the account, that Francis 
could not know what had happened ; but he was undeceived 
as soon as he came into his presence. Francis said simply, 
' You have sinned, Joam d'Eyro, you have sinned,' but so for- 
cibly that Joam threw himself at his feet, saying, * Yes, father, 
it is true, it is true, I have sinned.' * Confession ! confession ! 
my child,' said Francis ; and, adds Lucena, ' the same day he 
confessed, the same day he sold his ship that he had bought, 
the same day he gave the price of it and all the rest he had to 
the poor, the same day he ended with more grace, and rose 
to a better life by penance than he had lost by his fault, having 
gained besides, by the experience of his own weakness, a great 
advance in the knowledge and distrust of himself.'^^ 

The time at last came for Francis to sail for Malacca, and 
we are told that so great had been the change wrought by his 
influence in the moral and religious state of the Portuguese, 
that there was no one left, when he set sail, who was known to 
be leading a bad and unchristian life. Francis left the people 
with blessings and predictions of happiness and prosperity, 
which were signally fulfilled, and they on their part showed so 
much grief at his going as to remind the Portuguese historian 
of the parting between St. Paul and his friends at Miletus. We 
find almost invariably that the sea voyages of Francis Xavier 
— which occupied a very large portion of the short period of 
years during which his Apostolate was carried on — are sig- 
nalized each in turn by some miracle of charity or some anec- 
dote of his gracious, affable, and playful sanctity. This voyage 
from Meliapor to Malacca has its story of this kind. A soldier 
was on board, very fond of cards, which were in great request 
to cheer the tedium of the passage. One day he was unlucky, 
and lost, first all his own money, and then a large sum, some 

30 Vida da S. Francesco, 1. iii. c. 9. 

304 St, Francis Xavier. 

hundreds of crowns, which had been committed to his care by 
a merchant at MeHapor, to be conveyed to a correspondent 
at Malacca. When all was lost, the poor man broke out into 
blasphemies against God, and then sank into a deep melan- 
choly which brought him to the point of throwing himself into 
the sea. Francis was told of his danger ; perhaps, as was so 
often his wont, he had been looking on at the game, talking 
with the players and bystanders. He took the man aside, and 
began to comfort him as well as he could, but it seemed im- 
possible to make him resigned. Then Francis borrowed fifty 
reals of a friend, and brought them to him with a bright smile 
on his face, telling him to go and try his luck again. Before 
the play began, he took the pack of cards in his hands, turned 
them over once or twice, and then gave them to the players. 
This time the luck was all on the side of the soldier, who soon 
won back all that he had lost. He was going on with the 
game, when Francis forbad him to continue, and then taking 
him aside, spoke to him sweetly and gravely of the risk which 
he had run of throwing away his soul as well as his life. 
The man became truly penitent, and never touched cards 

These anecdotes of Francis in his intercourse with his 
chance companions on his numerous voyages might probably 
have been multiplied almost indefinitely if there had been any 
one at hand to collect them at the time. We gather from them 
a picture of the Saint as individual and distinct in its features 
as that, for instance, which the mind forms to itself as it con- 
siders the several stories about St. Francis of Assisi, in his 
love for birds, animals, and the lower creation generally. The 
beauty, the simplicity, the exquisite gentleness, condescension, 
and charity of the picture assure us of its general truth, apart 
from the authority of the testimony on which each particular 
instance may rest. Amid all the wild roughness, the free 
license, and the reckless passions which had their play among 
'the Portuguese mariners of the time, and the crowd of men of 
all races and creeds who were to be met with on board the mer- 
chant vessels of the Eastern seas, it was the fruit of no slight 

Meliapor. 305 

and feeble virtue to preserve purity, charity, meekness, jus- 
tice, and temperance, without stain or flaw. A far more con- 
summate sanctity must that have been which could mix so 
freely and easily with the crowd, and condescend so thoroughly 
to its ways and practices, and yet not only remain pure as the 
sunbeam that pierces the foulest dungeon, but be also a source 
of light and moral health and renovation to all around it. 

We must suppose that Francis received, before sailing for 
Malacca, the letter for the Commandant of that place, which 
he had asked for from the Governor Sousa. If Sousa sent it 
to him, it was his last act as Governor in favour of Francis 
Xavier. About the end of August of this year a new Governor 
arrived, Joam de Castro, whose name became very famous ii 
the annals of Portuguese India. Martin Alfonso de Sousa had 
been unsuccessful, at least he was unpopular with the Portu- 
guese. He had lowered the pay of the soldiers, and at the 
same time opposed nimself rigorously to the practice common 
among them of quitting the King's service to become traders. 
Other measures of his, which are mentioned by Faria y Sousa, 
seem to have had the same tendency to thrift, economy, 
carefulness in watching the interests of the revenue, and the 
like. He was also naturally severe and hot tempered. He is 
said to have so earnestly desired the arrival of his successor as 
to have adjured a friend of his, who was setting out for Portu- 
gal a few days before Joam de Castro arrived, and was hear- 
ing mass with him at the time, to tell the King to send him a 
successor, as he dared not govern India * because men are so 
changed from truth and honour.' And he swore *by that sacred 
Host, and by the true Body of Christ, which he saw therein 
with the eyes of faith,' that otherwise he would open the * pa- 
tents of succession' — sealed papers sent out by the King, with 
names of officers in them who were to succeed to the Gover- 
norship in case of a sudden vacancy — and resign the govern- 
ment to the first who should be named.^^ Don Joam de Castro 
brought with him three Fathers of the Society for the service of 
the mission. 

2^ Faria y Sousa, Asia Portuguesa, t. ii. p. i. cap. xiv. 
VOL. I. X 


(i.) Daily Exercise of a Christian, draw ft tip by St. Francis 

There are in the collection of the Letters of St. Francis Xavier 
several documents which are rather to be classed among his 
•works,' than among his letters. It is much to be regretted that 
there are not more of these relics of his wonderful industry and 
diligence, for his own letters, and the writers of his time, men- 
tion several which do not seem now to exist. At least, they have 
never been published. There is so much to be learnt from his 
manner of setting forth even the simplest and most elementary 
truths, that it would be a pity to omit altogether the documents to 
which we refer ; and we shall, therefore, place them here, where 
they may be considered as a commentary on what has been said 
in the text and his own letters as to his methods of practical in- 
struction. The first document, which we find in the collection of 
F. Menchacha {Epistolce Sti. Fraticisci Xaverii), is a rule of daily 
life for a Christian. It seems not to be intended so much for the 
Indian converts as for the Portuguese, as it clearly implies that 
the person following it can go every day to mass. It was the habit 
of St. Francis, as F. Poussines informs us, when he had won any 
body back from a bad life, to give him a method of living well 
and piously. This he used to teach to the ignorant viva voce, and 
to others he gave it in writing. There were thus many copies of 
it in existence, indeed he sometimes fixed it up in a public place, 
where people might copy it. We owe the copy which we possess 
to the zeal of Father Philippucci, an Italian Jesuit who had been 
miraculously healed by invoking St. Francis Xavier, and after- 
wards got leave to go and labour in India, whence he sent a large 
number of copies of letters of the Saint to Pere Poussines. PhiHp- 
pucci obtained several copies of the instruction which follows, and 
comparing them together, selected the best text he could find, and 
translated it into Latin. (Philippucci lived at the end oi the seven- 
teenth century.) The title of the paper is given as follows : 

Notes to Book IF. 307 

To souls desirous of eternal salvatioit. 

The Christian who is not satisfied to be one merely in name, 
but who would truly and practically act up to what he professes, 
should on awaking in the morning turn his mind to make three 
acts especially due to God and pleasing to Him. The first is the 
confession and adoration of the most Holy Trinity, the mystery 
of God one in Nature, three in Persons. The profession and con- 
fession of three divine Persons in one Essence is the distinctive 
mark of the Christian faith, and this we openly declare by making 
the sign of the cross and pronouncing at the same time the names 
of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as the Church teaches her 
children to do, if only we accompany the movement of our hand and 
the sound of the tongue by devotion and attention of mind. The 
moment you awake, therefore, sign yourself on the forehead and 
the breast, and pronounce at the same time the solemn invocation 
of the Holy Trinity, with the deepest reverence of a devout mind, 
so to adore God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, One Eternal 
Almighty God Infinite in goodness. 

The second duty is the exercise of the three theological virtues, 
thus to consecrate to our Creator the first fruits, as it were, Oi the 
day, and to gain to ourselves beforehand His favour which we so 
much need for everything. Repeat, therefore, the Creed, pro- 
nouncing each of the articles with your whole heart, and making 
an act of the strongest adhesion to all the dogmas it contains con- 
cerning the nature of God, the divine Persons, the Incarnation, 
life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the holy Church, and 
all the rest, saying in your heart as you give utterance to the 
words : O my God, Three Persons in one God, I believe in my 
heart all that the holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church 
believes and teaches concerning Thee ; all that she believes and 
teaches concerning the Son of the eternal Father, Who for me 
was made man, suffered, died, and rose again, and Who reigns in 
Heaven with the Father and the Holy Spirit : and all the other 
articles of faith which this holy Church teaches and processes. I 
am ready to lose everything, to suffer all violence, and more than 
that, to pour forth my blood and my life, rather than allow this 
faith to be torn from me, or allow the least doubt as to any part 
oi it. I am fully resolved to live and die in this profession, and 
if speech shall fail me when I come to my last hour, now at this 
moment, instead Oi then, I declare in words which express my 
whole heart that I acknowledge Thee, O Lord Jesus, lor the Son 

308 St. Francis Xavier, 

of God, I believe in Thee, and I submit most humbly to Thee 
all my thoughts. Amen. 

From Thee also, O Jesus Christ my Redeemer, and from Thy 
divine mercy, I hope that through Thy merits, assisted by Thy 
grace, I corresponding to this grace by good works, and fulfilling 
the precepts of Thy holy law, I shall one day come into the glory 
and happiness for which Thou hast been pleased to create and call 
me. Amen. 

I love Thee also, O my God, above all things, and I hate and 
detest with my whole heart the sins by which I have offended 
Thee, because they are displeasing in Thy sight, Thou Who art 
supremely good and worthy to be loved ; and as I acknowledge that 
I ought to love Thee with a love beyond all others, and strive to 
show Thee such love, so also I count Thee in my judgment infi- 
nitely above the worth of all things most fair and excellent, and I 
firmly and irrevocably resolve never to consent to offend Thee, or to 
do anything in any way which may displease Thy sovereign good- 
ness and put me in danger of falling from Thy holy grace, in which 
I am most firmly determined to persevere to my last breath. Amen. 

In the third place, in order to begin the day and the hours of 
light well, we must ask of God our Lord the assistance of His 
grace that we may observe exactly the ten commandments of His 
most holy law : for no one can arrive at eternal salvation except 
by observing them. Therefore, the precepts of the Decalogue 
should be repeated distinctly ; and after having pronounced them 
slowly and attentively, these words should be added : God our 
Lord says that those who observe and practise these ten command- 
ments will go into Paradise and there enjoy eternally supreme hap- 
piness. God our Lord says that those who do not observe and 
do not put in practice these ten commandments will go into hell, 
where they will be tormented eternally. 

These two prayers should be added in order to obtain grace to 
observe the commandments of God : 

I pray and beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, to grant me 
grace this day and during my whole life to observe perfectly the 
ten commandments. 

I beg and entreat thee, holy Mary, my Sovereign Lady, inter- 
cede for me with thy most blessed Son Jesus Christ, and obtain 
from Him, to grant me this day and all my life grace faithfully to 
observe these ten commandments. Amen. 

Afterwards should be said, with an attentive and devout heart, 
this prayer to God our Lord : 

Notes to Book 11. 


O Almighty God, Father of my soul, Creator of all things that 
are in the world, in Thee, my God and Lord, the source of all my 
good, I place my whole confidence ; I hope, without any doubt, 
that I shall obtain eternal salvation from Thy grace through the 
infinite merits of the Passion and death of my Lord Jesus Christ, 
although the sins which I have committed from my tender years 
up to this day are very great indeed and very many. Thou, O 
Lord, hast created me, and given me body and soul and all that I 
have. Thou alone and none else hast formed me in Thy image 
and likeness. I return to Thee, O my God, endless thanks and 
praise, especially for the blessing Thou hast granted me of know- 
ing the faith and the true laws of Jesus Christ Thy Son. Weigh 
in the balance, O Lord, my sins against the merits of the death 
and Passion of my Lord Jesus Christ, and not against my own 
slender merits, which are indeed none at all ; and so I shall be free 
from the power of the enemy, and shall go and enjoy eternally the 
glory of Paradise. Amen. 

Prayer to our most holy Lady. 

O Mary, my Lady, the hope of Christians, and Queen of An- 
gels and of all the saints who are with God in heaven; I commend 
myself to thee, my Lady, and to all the saints, now, as if I were 
at the hour of my death, to preserve me from the world, the flesh, 
and the devil, the enemies who plot against my soul, employing 
all their power, and hoping with deadly hate to thrust it down into 
hell. Hinder this, O most tender Mother, I pray and beseech 
thee. Amen. 

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. 

O my most excellent Patron, holy Archangel Michael, defend 
me against the devil at the hour of my death, when I shall stand 
before the judgment seat, giving to God an account of all my life. 

Prayer to the holy Guardian Angel. 

O Angel of God, who, by Divine appointment, art my guardian 
to watch over me in all my ways, be pleased this day to enlighten, 
preserve, rule, and govern me, whom the goodness of God has com- 
mitted to thy charge.^ 

1 O Angele Dei, 
Qui custos es mei, 
Me tibi commissum pietate supemi 
Illumina, custodi, rege, et guberna. 

3IO St. Francis Xavier, 

After this usual formulary (Angel of God, who art, &c.), should 
be added : I beseech thee, O holy and blessed Angel, to whose 
care and providence I am entrusted, be always at hand with 
help for me at the time of need. Bear my prayers into the 
sight of God our Lord, and let thy voice plead in His merciful 
ear, that by His mercy and through thy intercession. He may 
grant me the pardon of my past faults, a true knowledge of my 
present faults and a true contrition for them ; and lastly, effica- 
cious care to avoid those of which in future my frailty may be 
in danger, and that He may also grant me the grace to do good 
works and to persevere in so doing to the end of my Hfe. Drive far 
away from me, by the virtue of Almighty God, all the temptations 
of Satan ; and what I cannot merit by my own works, obtain by 
thine own gracious and powerful prayers to Him Who is the Lord 
of both of us, that no mixture of sin, no leaven of wickedness 
may have place in me. And if at any time thou seest me wander 
out of the right way and fall off to the crooked way of sin, use 
every means to bring me back again to seek my Saviour in the 
paths of justice. If thou seest me fall into tribulation and distress, 
then in thy kindly charity use all thy sweet offices with God to 
obtain from Him for me at once the help which I need. I beseech 
thee never to desert me, to protect me ever, visit me, help me, and 
defend me from all the vexations and assaults of evil spirits, watch- 
ing over me night and day, at every hour and at every moment ; 
direct me whither thou wouldst have me to go, and go with me 
and guard me. But above all things, O my guide and holy guar- 
dian, again and again I pray and beseech thee, bend all thy powers 
and redouble thy care for me at the time of my departure from 
this life, and permit me not to be terrified by the attacks or spectres 
of my enemies the devils. Let them find me shielded most effica- 
ciously by thee, so that I fall not into despair, and leave me not 
before thou hast led me in unto the beatific sight of God our Lord ; 
where with thee, with the most blessed Mother of God ever Virgin, 
and all the saints, we may enjoy for ever the glory of Paradise, 
which is to be given us through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who, with 
the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever. Amen. 

After having begun by these prayers, it is well for the faithful 
Christian, before giving himself up to the occupations of life, to 
meditate a certain space of time on the law of the Lord, which he 
may do profitably by renewing every morning the following exer- 
cise. Prostrate before God, let him go through and meditate se- 

Notes to Book IL 3 1 

parately the ten commandments of His law, according to this 
form. The first commandment of the divine law of my Lord and 
Creator is this : ' Thou shalt love and worship the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart,* &c. Then let him think over with himself and 
call to mind all the faults which, from his earliest years, he has 
committed ag'ainst this precept during his whole life. Then, con- 
demning and detesting them with his whole heart, let him implore 
God to pardon those faults, and make a firm resolution to avoid 
henceforth sins of this kind, and rather to incur the risk and loss 
of all his property, his health, and even his life, than commit any- 
thing contrary to a commandment so just and salutary. 

Let him add two colloquies, in some such words as these. 
First to Jesus Christ let him say : I pray and beseech Thee, O 
Jesus my Lord, grant me to-day and all the days of my life, the 
abundance of Thy grace to observe this first precept of Thy holy 
law. Then to the blessed Mother of Jesus Christ : O my Lady, 
holy Mary, I beseech thee to pray for me to the blessed fruit of 
your womb, Jesus Christ my Lord, that this day and all the re- 
maining days of my life He may mercifully supply to me abundant 
grace to perform fully all that is prescribed to me by this first 
commandment of His most holy law. In the same way let him 
go thrDugh the nine other precepts of the Decalogue. 

This exercise, if gone through faithfully at the beginning of 
each day, is of the highest importance for securing eternal salva- 
tion. For as the Christian's whole hope and only way of arriving 
at the happiness to which he is called lies in his doing good works 
and avoiding evil works, of which the former are commanded and 
the ktter forbidden by the ten precepts of the divine law, it is 
easy to see how much it will conduce to this end to consider ex- 
actly and distinctly each one of the divine precepts, and thus to 
have set before us as in a mirror the stains of our souls which 
must be removed, and how much is still lacking to us. From 
this springs true contrition, whereby we efface our old sins, and 
also that we guard ourselves beforehand against those faults into 
which we are in danger of falling on account of the treacherous 
occasions of daily life, and are able to weaken the power of bad 
associations and vicious habits, and daily acquire fresh strength 
from the firm and deliberate resolutions which we form, as also 
by imploring so continually the aid of God to resist the tempta- 
tions to evil which may occur to us in all kinds of wickedness, 
every one of which falls under the ban of some one of the ten 
commandments oi God, and consequently may be thought of with 

12 St. Francis Xavier. 

the greatest profit to our souls in this daily examination of those 
commandments, made in this consideration of them. 

Here is also a remedy for that blindness of the spiritual eye 
so common in all those who live without reflection, who let them- 
selves fall into sin without feeling it, and in whom long habit has 
so blunted the sting of conscience that they drink in iniquity like 
water, not knowing what they are doing, while they are preparing 
for themselves destruction at the end, and like gamesters, stake 
their eternal salvation or damnation on a chance throw. In this 
exercise care must be taken to dwell the longest time on those 
precepts as to which each one offends most often and most seri- 
ously ; exciting a more lively sorrow for such sins in particular 
out of love for the Divine Majesty which they have offended, and 
gathering up all the strength of the soul to form an irrevocable 
resolution of abstaining from them henceforth, avoiding also the 
occasions of them, and taking all fit ways and means to root up 
the bad habit which carries us headlong into them, especially im- 
ploring the help of God's grace chiefly for this purpose. 

After having gone through the ten commandments, the Chris- 
tian should pronounce with the greatest attention these or the like 
words : I most firmly believe that if, which God forbid, death 
should surprise me before I had obtained the pardon of any griev- 
ous sin, committed against one of these ten divine command- 
ments, immediately, and without any hope of a remission Df the 
sentence, my poor soul would be damned and cast into the ever- 
lasting fire of hell, to be there tormented throughout eternity, with- 
out any redemption ; also I am certain that if, as I desire and 
hope, when I yield my last breath, I am free from any mortal sin, 
and if I begin from this moment to correct in myself the bad 
habit of sinning against the ten divine commandments, then God 
our Lord will have compassion on my soul, and however jreat 
may have been the number of sins in my life, will lead ms to 
eternal salvation, that is to say, to the glory of Paradise, after I 
have expiated the stains of my sins, by the trials and sufferkigs 
of this world patiently endured, or by the pains of Purgatory. 

Every morning when he leaves his home the Christian's first 
steps should be to the church, and there let him be present at the 
holy sacrifice of the mass. While mass is being said, he may 
say within himself, or with his lips if he like better, these prayers, 
or others like them : 

O Lord Jesus Christ, love of my heart, by the five wounds 
which Thy love for us inflicted on Thee on the Cross, help Thy 

ISlotes to Book 11. 313 

servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy most precious 
Blood. Amen. 

Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Saviour of men, by the holy 
Cross which Thou hast consecrated by the touch of Thy most 
pure Body, and which Thou hast purpled with Thy most precious 
Blood ; by the virtue of the Passion and the death which Thou 
didst suffer for me thereon, forgive me my sins as Thou didst for- 
give the -thief crucified beside Thee ; give me victory over the 
enemies of my soul ; and by Thy grace bring the men who are 
against me to a true knowledge of Thy Divinity, and to true re- 
pentance of their sins. Amen. 

When the most holy Body of the Lord is elevated and shown 
to the people, let him say : 

I adore Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, and I bless Thee for having 
ransomed the world and me by the holy Cross. Amen. 

When the sacred chahce of the precious Blood of our Lord is 
elevated, let him say : 

I adore Thee, O most sacred Blood of Jesus my Lord, shed 
upon the Cross to save sinners and me. Amen. 

And as it is fitting that the Christian should be careful not only 
for his own salvation, but for that of others, I should advise every 
one to repeat this prayer for the conversion of infidels at the mo- 
ment the priest consumes the sacred Body and Blood of Jesus 
Christ in consummating the sacrifice : 

O Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that the souls 
of infidels have been created by Thee out of nothing, and formed 
after Thine image and likeness. Behold, Lord, to the dishonour 
of Thy name, hell is peopled with them. Remember that Jesus 
Thy Son suffered for their salvation the most cruel death : per- 
mit not, I beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy Son be any longer 
held in contempt by these infidels ; but, appeased by the prayers 
of Thy chosen Saints, of the Church, the most holy Spouse of Thy 
Son, remember Thy mercy, forget their idolatry and infidelity, 
and grant that they may at length acknowledge our Lord Jesus 
Christ, Whom Thou hast sent, in Whom is our salvation, our life, 
our resurrection, by Whom we have been saved and set at liberty, 
and to Whom be all glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

During the day the wear and tear of life and our promiscuous 
intercourse with men usually offer dangerous allurements to sin, 
especially to persons who by many sins in time past have con- 
tracted a habit of doing wrong. These last ought to recollect con- 
tinually the shortness of this life, the nearness of death, the account 

314 ^^' Francis Xavier. 

they must render to God of all the actions of their life, the uni- 
versal judgment when we shall appear before the inexorable judg- 
ment seat of Jesus Christ, the everlasting flames of the damned, 
and the eternal happiness of Paradise for which we were created, 
which is to be irreparably lost by any mortal sin. A person who 
is habitually filled with these thoughts, when he betakes himself 
to the daily occupations and recreations of life, will certainly fall 
far more rarely than others, and will rise again more easily after 
he has fallen : and he will generally be found ready and disposed to 
do that during his life which at the hour of death he would wish to 
have done. It will also be good for every one to be fully persuaded 
and thoroughly to understand that there is a great difference be- 
tween sins of frailty, which are wrung as if by stealth, by the 
power of temptation or the unexpected snares of some false at- 
traction, from persons otherwise well disposed to good, and the 
great sins of inveterate habit which have been long continued 
openly and shamelessly. The latter are incredibly greater than 
the former, the former more easily forgiven than the latter. So 
I should not be without hope that the repentance of persons whom 
a last illness might surprise in some fault of the first kind might 
profit them, but I should have great fears for people of the other 
sort, for such persons seem to me not so much to leave their sins 
as their sins to leave them ; and it seems to me likely that there 
exists as it were an agreement between the divine mercy and 
justice of God, by which the indulgent kindness of His mercy 
may be allowed to cover those whose life has been once virtu- 
ously ordered, but who out of weakness and from the treachery 
of occasions of sin which they never sought may have 'been so un- 
happy as to fall into mortal sin, while those who, giving them- 
selves an uninterrupted license in sin, are so bold as to carry on 
an open profession of wickedness to the very end of their life, will 
be sacrificed to the vengeance of the justice of God. 

These things I especially commend to the thoughts of those who 
have hitherto found the holy war against sin a war of doubtful issue, 
and marked by successive alternations of fortune. As to those 
who are rather further advanced in the interior life and who have 
begun to taste how gracious is the Lord, I advise them often dur- 
ing the course of the day to raise their hearts to God, to make 
again and again acts of faith, of religion, of hope, and above all 
of pure and unmixed charity. It is a good thing to know by heart 
lorms of these acts, taken from the psalms or sacred hymns, and 
to repeat them from time to time. They may also be expressed 

Notes to Book IL 3 1 5 

in common language, or even sung. Here is a metrical exercise 
of the love of God, without any mixture of our own interest, for 
the use of those who like it. 

[Here follows the rhythm commonly known as the Act of Love 
or Contrition of St. Francis Xavier. There is a question whether 
it was not originally the composition of St. Ignatius ; indeed, the 
Spanish sonnet is attributed to him by Father Menchacha, who 
thinks St. Francis made a shorter and more popular form of the 
same, perhaps in Portuguese. The Spanish runs thus : 

No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte 
El cielo que me tienes prometido : 
Ni me mueve el infierno tan temido 
Para dexar por esso de ofenderte. 

Tu me mueves, Seiior ; mueveme el verte 
Clavado en essa cruz, y escarnecido ; 
Mueveme el ver tu cuerpo tan herido ; 
Muevenme tus afrentas, y tu muerte. 

Muevesme al tu amor en tal manera, 

Que aunque no hubiera cielo, yo te amara ; 
Y aunque no hubiera infierno, te temiera, 

No me tienes que dar porque te quiera ; 
Que aunque quanto espero, no esperara, 
Lo mismo que te quiero, te quisiera. 

The common Latin version, which, as will be seen, though it 
gives the same thoughts, is not by any means a strict transla- 
tion, is as follows : 

O Deus, ego amo Te, 

Nee amo Te, ut salves me, 

Aut quia non amantes Te 

^terno punis igne, 

Tu, Tu, mi Jesu, totum me 

Amplexus es in cruce ; 

ITulisti clavos, lanceam, 
Multamque ignominiam, 
Innumeros dolores, 
Sudores, et angores, 
Ac mortem , et hsec propter me 
Ac pro me peccatore. 
Cur igitur non amem Te, 
O Jesu amantissime ? 
Non ut in coelo salves me, 
Aut ne in aeternum damnes me, 
Nee prcemii uUius spe ; 
Sed sicut Tu amasti me, 
Sic amo et amabo Te, 
Solum quia Rex meus es. 


St. Francis Xavier, 

The following English translation is considered as the classi- 
cal form of the rhythm in our language, and is attributed to Dry- 

' O God, Thou art the object of my love, 
Not for the hopes of endless joys above, 
Nor for the fear of endless pains below 
Which those who love Thee not must undergo : 
For me, and such as me, Thou once didst bear 
The ignominious cross, the nails, the spear, 
A thorny crown transpierced Thy sacred brow. 
What bloody sweats from every member flow ! 
For me in torture Thou resign 'st Thy breath, 
Nailed to the cross, and sav'dst me by Thy death : 
Say, can these sufferings fail my heart to move ? 
What but Thyself can now deserve my love ? 
Such as then was and is Thy love to me. 
Such is, and shall be still, my love to Thee. 
Thy love, O Jesus, may I ever sing, 
O God of love, kind Parent, dearest King ! Amen.' 

We do not possess the common Portuguese form which was 
current in India when F. Philippucci made his collection of copies 
of letters and the like. If we may judge from the Latin version 
given us by Poussines and Menchacha, there were several thoughts 
in it which do not occur in the other forms ; the latter part espe- 
cially, is very different. For this reason we subjoin it : 

UtTe colam, Deus mens, 
Non me movet terror Tuae 
Manus vibrantis fulmina ; 
Nee horror ignis Tartari 
Urentis seternum reos. 
Tu me, Deus, per Te moves, 
Tu, Christe, transfixus trahis, 
Crux urget, incendit cruor, 
Jesu, tuis plagis fluens. 
Si cesset inlerni metus, 
Tollatur et spes gloriee, 
Ego tamen, mi Conditor, 
Te, dotibus captus Tuis, 
Te, numen admiransTuum, 
SulDlime, sanctum, providum, 
Amore inempto prosequar. 
Te, Christe, Te Fill Dei, 
Te Virgo proles Virginis, 
Mansuete, fortis, innocens, 
Dignate pro nobis mori. 
Gratis merentem diligam.] 

After the occupations of the day, when night, the time for 
rest, arrives, a Christian must never allow himself to trust his 
soul to sleep, which is the likeness oi death, without being pre- 
pared as for death itself. For who can promise him that on the 

Notes to Book IL 317 

morrow he will awake in health of mind and body ? If he is 
wise, he cannot doubt that most surely during the night which is 
about to begin many in this wide world will be overpowered by 
some accident while they sleep, and so pass from sleep to death. 
And since no one is able to guarantee him from being of the 
number, it would be unheard of folly to neglect those precau- 
tions, the irreparable omission of which may perhaps be matter 
for eternal sorrow. Therefore, let him kneel down before God, 
our sovereign Judge, and first give Him thanks for the great and 
innumerable blessings that He has given him during the course 
of his life, especially in the day that has just passed, as far as he 
knows them and can give thanks for them : then having first 
implored light from above to recognise his faults, let him set on 
the other side the evils he has committed, calling to mind and 
confessing with shame whatever sins, especially that day, he may 
have committed, against or beyond the law of God, in omission, 
deed, will, thought, or word. 

Having thus collected his heap of sins, let him first condemn 
them in his own heart and abominate them with piercing sorrow, 
and then do away with them by the fire of the love of God, which 
alone has power that can destroy them, and by means of true 
contrition, conceived entirely out of perfect charity for God Who 
deserves infinite love, root out their remains and utterly blot 
them out, using all the force of his heart in this contrition ; and 
then let him make a firm resolution never to consent to the like 
again, either for any hope of enjoyment or profit, or from the 
fear of any danger whatsoever. With these things in his mind 
let him repeat the ordinary form of confession of sins : / confess 
to Ahnighty God, &c. Let him also implore the help of God to 
perform what he has promised, making, for this purpose, prayers 
to Jesus Christ, to His most holy Mother, to the holy Guardian 
Angel, and to the Saints inhabitants of Heaven, hke the prayers 
set down before. 

Parents and the heads of families ought to take great care to 
accustom their children, both boys and girls, from their tenderest 
years to make these exercises daily morning and night, or others 
of the same kind, as far as the capacity of their age allows ; and 
if they are not able to pray mentally, let them order them at 
least vocally, in the morning when they rise and before going to 
sleep at night, to pray to God on their knees, reciting three times 
the Hail Mary, according to the custom of the Church, as well 
as the Lord's Prayer and the holy Creed taking care to dwell rather 


St. Francis Xavier. 

more distinctly in thought on the Passion, death, and resurrection 
of Jesus Christ. 

( 2 . ) Method of catechizing the Ignorant. 

A good deal has been said, both in the Letters and in the text 
(pp. 152, 166), about Francis Xavier's method of catechizing, or 
rather of holding a Catechetical Service, as it may be called. The 
following form is from the same source as the preceding Daily 
Exercise. It is addressed To the Catechists of the Society of Jesus 
iti Itidia. 

I am going to lay before you, my dearest brothers, the form 
and method of teaching the elements of Christian doctrine to these 
ignorant nations which my own practice and its results have ap- 
proved to me, hoping that if you observe the same you may find 
yourselves gathering satisfactory fruits for the glory of God our 
Lord and for the salvation of souls. 

The people being assembled, whoever is to give the explana- 
tion of the Catechism should first make the sign of the cross, and 
then, with his head uncovered and his hands raised to heaven, 
he should pronounce in a clear and intelligible voice, with two 
boys ready to repeat it after him, the Lord's Prayer, he saying 
each word by itself, and the boys each word at once after him. 

Then the catechist says to the congregation : ' Now, my bre- 
thren, let us make profession of our faith, and let us make acts of 
the chief and most excellent virtues, which are called theological, 
and which are faith, hope and charity.' Then he is to begin 
with faith, asking the people, ' Do you believe in One only true 
God, Almighty, Eternal, Immense, infinitely Wise ?' All are to 
answer : ' Yes, Father, by the grace of God, we do believe.' The 
catechist must go on: 'Then all repeat together after me this 
prayer : O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, grant us 
grace most firmly to believe this article of our holy faith : let us 
add in order to obtain it a Pater Nosier.' This prayer is to be 
said by all to themselves in secret. Then the teacher, raising 
his voice again, says : ' Now, then, all repeat after me : O holy 
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, obtain for us from God the grace 
to believe most firmly this article of our holy faith ; and in order 
to obtain this favour from her, let us all say to ourselves, in her 
honour, the Hail Mary.' After all have secretly repeated it, the 
teacher continues : ' Do you believe, my brethren, that this true 
God is the One only God, One in Essence, and Three in Persons — 

Notes to Book IL 319 

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost ?* All 
are to answer : 'Yes, Father, by the grace of God we believe this.' 
Then the two prayers mentioned above are to be repeated, and 
the Pater and Ave said secretly by the people, each standing in 
his own place. Then the next question is to be put. ' Do you 
believe, my brethren, that this same God is the Creator of all 
things, that He is our Saviour and Glorifier ?' And all answer : 
' We truly believe this. Father, by the grace of God.' Then they 
say the two prayers, and the Pater and Ave. In this way all the 
other articles of the Creed are gone through, principally those 
which relate to the humanity of Jesus Christ our Lord ; and this 
is the form in which the questions are put : ' Do you believe, my 
brethren, that the Second Person of the most holy Trinity, the 
only-begotten Son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, was made 
flesh in the womb of the most pure Virgin Mary, and was born 
of the same Mary our Lady, ever Virgin ?' The people answer : 
' Yes, Father, by the grace of God we believe it.' Then again is 
to come the repetition of the two prayers and the Pater and Ave, 
in the form prescribed above. The catechist goes on : 'Do you 
believe, my brethren, that this same Son of God, made man, was 
crucified, died, and was buried ; that He descended into hell, and 
that He set free the souls of the holy fathers who were there 
expecting His holy coming?' They answer: 'Yes, we believe 
it, by the grace of God,' and add the usual prayers. The teacher 
asks again : ' Do you believe that this our Lord rose again the 
third day, and that He ascended into heaven, where He sits at 
the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He will 
come again to judge the living and the dead ; to examine and 
reward or punish, according to their merits, the good and wicked 
actions which they have done ?' The people answer, that all 
this they perfectly beheve, by the grace of God ; and they add the 
usual prayers, with a Pater and an Ave. The catechist continues : 
' Do you believe that there is a hell — that is to say, an eternal 
fire, where those who die out of the grace of God will be tor- 
mented everlastingly ? That there is also a Paradise and an eter- 
nity of glory, which virtuous persons will enjoy who have ended 
their life in the same grace of God ? Lastly, that there is a Pur- 
gatory, where souls satisfy for a certain time the justice of God, 
by undergoing the punishment of their sins, in case that having 
in their life done away with the guilt of them, they have yet not 
fully acquitted the debt of pain which they had incurred ?' Then 
he should add : 'Do you believe in the seven Sacraments, in all 

320 St, Francis Xavier, 

the doctrine of the holy Gospels, and in all else that the holy 
Roman Church believes and professes ?* The people answer : 'We 
believe all these truths, by the grace of God.' They add the two 
prayers, with a Pater and an Ave. The teacher goes on : ' Let 
us here offer to the Holy Spirit these seven Paters and Aves that 
we have just repeated, that He may be pleased to enrich our souls 
with His seven gifts, especially those which may help us to believe 
most firmly all that the holy Catholic faith teaches us.* After 
which he is to add : * And now, my brethren, we have made pro- 
fession of our holy faith. 

' It now remains to make the acts of the two other virtues of 
which we spoke in the beginning, of hope and charity. Come, 
then, and say with me : O Jesus Christ, my God and my Lord, 
trusting in Thy divine mercy, I hope that by virtue of Thy merits, 
directed and assisted by Thy grace, corresponding myself to this 
grace by Christian works, and observing all Thy commandments, 
I shall arrive one day at the glory and happiness for which Thou 
hast created me. 

' I love Thee, O my God, above all things, and with all my 
soul. I repent of having offended Thee, being what Thou art, 
most worthy of all praise, veneration, and service, because of the 
infinite love which I owe Thee, and because I esteem Thee far 
above everything else, however great ; and I make the firm resolu- 
tion never to do anything which may be contrary to Thy divine 
will, and put me in danger of losing Thy holy grace. Amen.' 

Such should always be the opening service of the catechetical 
schools. After this the catechist should enter into a particular 
explanation of some one of the dogmas of our holy faith, of a 
sacrament, a virtue, or prayer, or some of those things which it is 
for the good of a Christian to understand ; setting it forth in a 
continuous but plain discourse, adapted to the intelligence of the 
ignorant, explaining what he teaches, and at the end confirming 
it by relating some example. After this he should repeat the form 
of general confession for them, the children following him word 
for word ; at the same time bidding all present to make, with all 
their heart and soul, an act of true contrition — that is to say, of 
sorrow for sin, formed from the pure love of God Whom they have 
offended. At the end he should tell them all to say three Hail 
Marys, the first for those present, and the two others for different 
intentions, as they may choose. 

l^otes to Book II. 321 

(3.) St. Francis Xavier's Explanation of the Creed. 

It will be convenient to give in this place another document 
which remains to us of the same kind with the last. It is a long 
explanation of the Creed written by St. Francis for the people of 
the Moluccas. We have referred to it above (p. 168), and it may 
safely be assumed that it represents the ordinary manner in which 
Francis Xavier explained the articles of the Creed to the ignorant 
and to converts from heathenism. Theologians will be much 
struck with the refined and careful tone of the doctrine on certain 
more difficult points, as for instance, the salvation of the heathen, 
and the like. 

Catechetical Explanation of the Creed for the Inhabitants of 
the Moluccas. 

1. It delights Christians to hear and learn the manner and 
the order in which God made all things out of nothing, for the 
use and service of man. In the beginning He created the hea- 
vens and the earth, the Angels, the sun, the moon and the stars, 
the day and the night ; plants and herbs of all kinds, roots and 
berries, and fruits of trees ; the birds and animals which live upon 
the earth ; the sea, the rivers, and lakes, and all things living 
in the waters. And after all these things had been created. He 
made, last of all, man, whom He formed after His own image and 

2. The first man created by God was Adam, and the first 
woman Eve. Having formed and breathed into them both the 
breath of life, and having placed them in the terrestrial Paradise, 
He blessed them, betrothed them to one another, and united them 
in the bond of marriage, and commanding them so united to pro- 
duce children, and fill the earth with inhabitants. Of this pair, 
Adam and Eve, we are all born ; from them all nations every- 
where have sprung. In this first type of our race we see an ex- 
ample of the unity of human marriage. For, as the God of all 
wisdom, the Author of nature, did not give Adam more than one 
wife, it is plain how contrary to the authority of God is the license 
in this matter which Mussulmans and idolaters and — what is still 
more wicked and deplorable — bad Christians also sometimes take, 
to have many women at once living with them ; and even those 
who live with one concubine alone do not escape the condemna- 
tion from this primitive law ; for God did not permit Adam and 

VOL. 1. Y 

3 22 St Francis Xavier. 

Eve to beget children till they had first been united by the bond 
of lawful marriage by their Creator. 

3. Therefore fornicators, inasmuch as they are rebels against 
God Who made them, must expect punishment fitted to their crime. 

.Let those also who worship idols understand from this how great a 
crime they are guilty of; leaving and despising the one true God, 
the only true Creator of all things, they worship, in their fanatical 
error, mute idols and phantoms of hell; and though sound reason 
plainly shows us that we ought to seek the rule of our life from 
Him Who gave us the principle of life, they, in their sacrilegious 
folly, trust all their hopes and all their actions to witchcraft, the 
casting of lots, and the pretended foretellings of diviners. They 
pay to the devil — the implacable enemy of their salvation — the 
faith and veneration which they owe to God, the Author of all 
good things, from Whom they have received their soul, their body, 
all that they are, all their powers, and all that they possess. Im- 
piety not more shameful and detestable in itself than fatal to the 
poor wretches who are guilty of it ; for this senseless superstition 
excludes them from heaven, where a dwelling place of eternal rest 
full of all delights is prepared for souls who worship God — the 
blessed abode of that felicity for which the Creator, in His infinite 
goodness, made mankind. 

4. How much wiser are real Christians ! Faithful to God 
their Lord, they believe in Him and worship Him in spirit ; and 
with all their mind and all the affections of their heart embrace 
Him, the one only true, supreme, and eternal Spirit, the Maker 
of heaven and earth ; and they show this the religion of their heart 
by outward signs of devotion, by frequenting the sacred churches, 
where they see around the altars erected in honour of the living 
God images of Jesus Christ His Son, of the Virgin Mother of 
God, and of the Saints, God's servants, who, after a life passed 
faithfully in His service, reign with Him in the glory of Paradise. 

5. In the midst of these solemn figures, which fill them with 
holy memories of the things and persons which they represent, 
kneeling on the ground, their hands raised to heaven, towards 
which they turn their eyes and hearts, they confess their belief in 
God, Whose dwelling place it is, in Whom alone they place all their 
happiness and consolation, by these words attributed to St. Peter: 
* I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and 
earth.* God created the Angels in heaven before He created man 
on earth. Now, the larger number of the Angels eagerly at once 
adored their God, rendering thanks, an^d glorifying Him for the 

Notes to Book IL 323 

blessing of creation. Lucifer, on the other hand, and many Angels 
with him, refused to pay due adoration to their Creator ; they said 
in their pride, Let us rise up, and make ourselves like unto God, 
Who reigns in the highest heavens. To punish this proud rebel- 
lion God cast Lucifer and the Angels who followed him out of 
heaven into hell. 

6. Lucifer, thus cast down from heaven, saw Adam and Eve, 
the first of mankind, and was jealous of the grace in which God 
had created them ; and to cause them to fall thence, he put into 
their hearts pride like to that which had made him fall from hea- 
ven. He met them in the earthly Paradise, and set before them 
the false hope of attaining honour equal to that of God, if they 
ate of the fruit forbidden by their Creator. Adam and Eve were 
lifted up in heart at the false representation that they would be- 
come like God, and, consenting to the temptation, ate of the fruit 
of the forbidden tree, and at once fell from the grace in which 
they had been created, and presently, as a punishment for their 
sin, God drove them out of the earthly Paradise. From that 
time they lived in banishment from the abode of bliss in a con- 
dition of toil and labour during nine hundred years, doing penance 
for the sin they had committed, the guilt of which was so beyond 
all expiation, that however great an amount of the most severe suf- 
ferings Adam and his children might pay, all would be insufficient 
to blot out the stain, and restore to them their former hope of 
gaining eternal happiness, which they had been deprived of, as a 
just punishment for the mad pride in which they had desired to 
become like God. So that, from that time, the gates of heaven 
remained closed to them by impenetrable barriers, which inexor- 
ably shut out Adam and his posterity from all access to that glory 
which he had irreparably lost, by committing a sin which involved 
the ruin both of himself and oi all his children. 

7. O Christians, what then will be our miserable fate ? L so 
many Angels for one single sin of pride were driven headlong from 

I heaven and cast into the depths of hell — if Adam and Eve for a 
like sin of pride lost the blessed possession Oi the earthly Para- 
dise — what hope, what means have we, who are degraded by a 
great flood of sins of all kind, of ever rising out of the impurity 
which holds us last, oi washing away our stains and soaring to the 
highest heaven, where an abode oi immortal blessedness has been 
prepared by God ior immortal souls ? Alas, all hope was lost ; 
the damnation and eternal ruin oi the human race were certain, 

324 St. Francis Xavier, 

friend, and the Angels who, hke him, had remained dutiful and 
obedient and were in possession of the reward of their constancy, 
the most blissful enjoyment of eternal glory in the heavens, all 
together, taking compassion on the calamities of the human race, 
fell in humble supplication at the feet of God, and endeavoured to 
win from Him by prayers some remedy for the immense evils 
which, by the sin of Adam and Eve, had spread like a great flood 
over all their descendants ; making their prayers in some such 
way as this : 

8. ' O God of goodness, most merciful Lord and Father of all 
nations, now at last the time is come, the day so much expected 
from the beginning of ages has begun to shine, the day which 
Thou hast destined from all eternity and prepared, to show in it 
Thy mercy towards lost mankind. We see already the dawn of 
that day which is to open again the gates of Heaven to the chil- 
dren of Adam, once more restored to the grace of being Thine 
adopted sons ; since now, from the holy Joachim and Anne, is born 
a daughter, that Virgin most holy above women, in whom is not 
the sin of Adam, Mary by name, whose virtues and holiness sur- 
pass incomparably in excellence all beings lower than God. And 
this Virgin being so pure and noble, it seems a work not un- 
worthy of Thy infinite and most wise Omnipotence to form of her 
virginal blood, as it is easy to Thee, O Lord, to do, a human 
body, as of old, O Lord, Thou didst form the body of Adam, when 
so it seemed good to Thy holy will. And into this body, formed 
of the most pure substance of the Virgin, Thou canst also. Al- 
mighty Lord, at the same time create and infuse, uniting them 
by the most intimate union, some chosen and most beautiful soul, 
surpassing in holiness all the souls that Thou hast ever yet created 
or ever wilt create' — [Meantime God had resolved, in the secret 
counsels of the Holy Trinity, to join a Divine Person with our hu- 
man nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,] — 'in order 
that of this Virgin, the most perfect of all others, should be born 
Jesus Christ, Thy Son, the Saviour of the universe. And thus, 
O Lord, will the Scriptures be accomplished, thus will the pro- 
mises be faithfully fulfilled by which Thou hast bound Thyself to 
the prophets and patriarchs. Thy friends, who, relying upon them, 
are now waiting in Limbus Thy Son Jesus Christ, their Lord and 
their Redeemer.* 

9. At this prayer of the holy Angels, the Most High, the so- 
vereign Lord and Almighty God of all, touched by infinite com- 
passion for our immense misery, most clearly known by Him, sent 

Notes to Book IL 2>'^^ 

from heaven the holy archangel Gabriel to the city of Nazareth, 
where the Virgin Mary dwelt ; and this angel, as he had been 
ordered by Him Who sent him, said to her, ' Hail, Mary, full of 
grace, the Lord is with thee : blessed art thou among women ; 
the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most 
High shall overshadow thee ; and the Holy One Who shall be 
born of thee shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God.' On 
hearing these words of the Archangel, the most holy Virgin Mary 
answered : ' Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto 
me according to thy word.' At the very moment that the most 
holy Virgin gave her consent to what was proposed to her from 
God by the holy Archangel, God formed in the womb of the Vir- 
gin, out of her most pure blood, a human body, to which He 
most closely joined a soul created at the same instant ; and then 
the Second Person of the holy Trinity, God the Son, became 
Incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, uniting to His divine 
Person that soul and that body, both infinitely holy. 

10. After this, nine full months having elapsed from the day 
in which the Son of God became Incarnate to that of His birth, 
Jesus Christ the Saviour of the whole world, true God and true 
man, was born of the Virgin Mary ; and this is what St. Andrew 
professed in these words : ' I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son 
of God our Lord ;' to which St. John added at the same instant : 
•Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin 
Mary.' Christ our Lord and Redeemer was born at Bethlehem, 
near Jerusalem. It was there that the Angels, and the Virgin His 
Mother, with St. Joseph and the Three Kings of the East, and 
many others besides, adored Him as their Sovereign Lord. 

11. Meanwhile Herod, who was reigning in Jerusalem, fearing 
lest his kingdom, to which he was passionately attached, would 
be taken from him by this Child, desired to kill Him. But his 
cruel intention was baffled, Jesus was taken away in time. Joseph 
having been warned in a dream by an Angel, had fled from Beth- 
lehem into Egypt, carrying with him Jesus Christ and the Virgin 
His Mother ; and he remained there until Herod ended his life 
by a most wretched death. So great had been his barbarity, that 
he had slain in Bethlehem and round about all the children of 
two years old and under, thinking that Jesus Christ would be in- 
cluded in the massacre. That however was false, for Jesus was 
saved, as we have said, and He returned with the Virgin His 
Mother and St. Joseph into their own country and to the city of 
Nazareth, Joseph having been warned in Egypt by an Angel. 

32t) St, Francis Xavier, 

12. When Jesus had reached the age of twelve years He went 
up from Nazareth to Jerusalem to the Temple, where were the 
doctors of the law, and He explained to them the Scriptures of 
the prophets and the patriarchs, who had foretold the coming of 
the Son of God, teaching them with so wonderful a show of rare 
wisdom that all who heard Him wondered. From thence He 
went back to Nazareth, where He remained till He was about 
thirty years of age, when He went to the river Jordan, where St. 
John the Baptist was baptizing great numbers of persons who 
came to him, among whom John baptized Jesus Christ Himself 
in the waters of the Jordan. From thence Jesus withdrew to a 
desert mountain, where during forty days and forty nights He 
abstained from all meat and drink. On this mountain the devil, 
not knowing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, strove to make 
Him fall into the three sins of gluttony, covetousness, and vain- 

13. But, repelling all these temptations and victorious over the 
devil, Jesus quitted the mountain and descended into Gahlee, where 
He converted great multitudes, cast out many devils from the bodies 
of men possessed by them, commanding them to depart thence, 
and even these obstinate and rebel spirits instantly obeyed Him; the 
people being justly tilled with admiration, publishing everywhere 
the fame of His divine doctrine, set forth in discourses of infinite 
wisdom, and also of His wonder-working power, which was re- 
vealed by the healing of all sorts of sickness. Hence many were 
persuaded to give heed to the discourses of a Teacher of so much 
authority, and vied one with another in bringing to Him all the 
sick persons afflicted with whatever disease ; and Jesus touching 
them with His most holy hands, did away with all their maladies, 
and sent them home, at once healed and filled with gratitude. 

14. After this Jesus called twelve Apostles and seventy-two 
disciples, whom He took round with Him in His journeys from 
city to city and village to village, teaching the mysteries of the 
kingdom of God and preaching to the crowds who came together, 
confirming the truth of what He taught by numberless and great 
miracles ; for in the sight of all the people, in the presence of 
His Apostles and disciples. He used to restore sight to the blind, 
speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, movement to the lame 
and to the paralytic ; and the sight of these daily miracles con- 
firmed His Apostles and disciples more and more in their faith 
in Jesus Christ, Who communicated to them so much power and 
wisdom that, though rude and illiterate fishermen, they preached 

Notes to Book 11. 327 

to the people, the divine doctrine of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
supplying in them the want of study and human learning. More- 
over, by the invocation of His name, the Apostles themselves also 
wrought wonders, delivering men from different maladies and from 
the possession of evil spirits, and by these works, surpassing all 
human power, setting a seal to the truths which they announced 
as to the coming of the Son of God ; so that though these truths 
were so new, they were proved and made abundantly credible by 
the witness of so many miraculous signs bearing the undoubted 
character of Divine testimony. 

15. The great fame of Jesus and of His disciples having spread 
throughout Judea, came to the notice of the chief men of the nation, 
men full of a vain opinion of themselves, and of those especially 
who were called Pharisees, supercilious despisers of everything ex- 
cellent, who used to be angry if any party or any sect except their 
own obtained even a slight renown for learning : and so it may 
easily be imagined what a bitter pang it must have been for these 
proud persons to find Jesus Christ, Who censured their doctrine, 
listened to with applause by the people, and so highly esteemed 
and considered in the enthusiasm of the multitude, that it seemed 
almost to be imminent that they themselves would be thrust out 
of the highest place in authority and reputation which they had so 
long held, and the new Teacher raised to their place with the hand- 
ful of fishermen who formed his train. Moved, therefore, by the 
fury of hellish envy, they determined to put in motion all the arti- 
fices of calumny in order to take away both the reputation and the 
life of Jesus Christ. 

1 6. With this intention they beset with artful words those who 
were at the head of affairs, and also persuaded Pilate, at that time 
governor of Judea, after having plied him with entreaties, sugges- 
tions of suspicion, and direct charges, to grant them the arrest of 
Jesus, which they clamoured for as necessary for the public peace. 
The foreign governor allowed himself to be so far gained over by the 
crafty machinations of these men ; not that he was ignorant that 
their allegation of the public good was only a veil to cover their 
own envy, but either from weariness of resisting their importunate 
demands or from a desire to win favour with the more powerful of 
the people, he thought it worth while to purchase his own tranquil- 
lity or the favour of others at the cost of an illustrious man, who 
seemed quite of the same stamp as Ehas and Jeremias among the 
ancients, or John the Baptist among men of that time, but whom 
he did not suppose superior to human nature. For if he had clearly 

328 St Francis Xavier. 

known that Jesus was the Son of God, it does not seem that any 
influence could have prevailed upon him to deliver Him to the fury 
of His envious enemies. 

17. Jesus being thus taken prisoner by the authority of the 
government, His enemies out of their own malice went on further to 
insure themselves that He should be treated with all possible cruelty 
and ignominy by their own servants. He was dragged through 
the ways and principal places of the city, in the midst of a crowd 
who offered Him every sort of outrage, hurried with violence from 
one house to another before different tribunals, mocked, reviled, 
spit upon, and beaten with blows, and so at last brought before 
Pilate, with false witnesses against Him, amidst the furious clam- 
ours of the excited mob, who cried out for His death and for His 
death upon the cross. Nevertheless the judge hesitated, knowing 
the innocence of the accused ; until they suggested to him that he 
would lose Ceesar's favour if he set free a man designated King of 
the Jews and Who would soon raise a revolt ; and thus he was 
made to yield to the wishes of the accusers, and gave up Jesus. 
After he had caused Him to be inhumanly torn by scourges over 
His whole body from head to foot, he delivered Him up to be 
crucified by the Jews, who demanded this with savage clamour. 

1 8. But before they crucified Him, the emissaries of the Phari- 
sees, having dressed Him in mockery with the robes of a king, 
with a crown of thorns on His head, a reed for a sceptre in His 
hand, made sport of Him, bowing the knee before Him in ironical 
homage, and hailing Him King of the Jews, and then spitting in 
His face, striking Him on the cheek again and again, and snatch- 
ing the reed from His right hand to strike Him with it on His head 
crowned with thorns. At last they nailed Him to a cross on 
Mount Calvary, near the city of Jerusalem. Thus Jesus Christ 
died upon the cross, in order to save sinful men; so that His most 
holy soul was truly separated from His most precious body at the 
moment that He expired upon the cross, and yet that both His 
soul and body, although disunited, never ceased each to remain 
joined to the divine Person. And as the spirit fled without ceasing 
to be united to the Divinity, so also the lifeless body, whether when 
it hung on the cross or was laid and buried in the tomb, always 
and everywhere had with it the inseparable company of the Divin- 
ity most closely joined to it, and was never separated from that 

19. Moreover, at the death of Jesus Christ the sun was dark- 
ened and lost its light, the whole earth trembled, the rocks were rent 

Notes to Book IL 329 

and dashed against one another, the graves of the dead opened of 
themselves, and many bodies of the saints came forth, who showed 
themselves restored to life to many in the city of Jerusalem. At 
the sight of these prodigies, those who stood by Christ as He died 
were convinced, and cried out : Truly this man was the Son of 
God ! All these things which we have just related are contained 
in the profession of the Apostle St. James, who added to the words 
expressed by the preceding Apostles : ' I believe in Jesus Christ, 
Who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.' 
Jesus Christ was God, since He was the second Person of the most 
Holy Trinity ; at the same time He was truly man, being the son 
of the Virgin Mary, and possessing a rational soul and a human 
body. In so much as He was man. He died really upon the cross 
while He was nailed to it. For death is nothing else but the 
separation of the soul from the body, in which and with which 
it has lived. And the most holy soul of Jesus Christ was separated 
from His body when He expired upon the cross. 

20. And then that most sacred soul separated from His body, 
and remaining united to the Divinity of the Son of God, as it had 
always been since our Lord God created it, descended into Limbus. 
Limbus is a place beneath the earth in which were detained the 
souls of the holy fathers, prophets, patriarchs, and many others, 
assembled there waiting for the coming of the Son of God, by 
Whom they knew they should be delivered and transferred from 
this abode to Paradise. For from the beginning of the creation 
there have always lived in the world good men, who, as they 
had been friends of God, had freely professed the holy truths they 
understood and never dissembled what they believed before the 
wicked who opposed them. They reproved sinners, blaming se- 
verely the wickedness of any who rebelled shamelessly against God, 
the one Creator of all. But wicked and criminal men would not 
endure their censures : and so, by the inspiration and assistance 
of the devil, their sworn accomplice, under whose banners they 
were enrolled, they persecuted the good men, the friends of God, 
with every kind of evil deed, making them prisoners, banishing 
them, and vexing them with every kind of injury and insult. 

21. Corresponding to this great difference between the lives of 
the good and the wicked was the very different condition of their 
souls when death had separated their souls from their bodies. All 
the souls who during their life had been virtuous went, when death 
had set them free from the bonds of the body, to the place just now 
mentioned, which I said was called Limbus, which being sunk far 

2^0 St, Francis Xavier, 

down beneath the surface of the earth, is also called hell ; not that 
there, as we understand when we speak of the place called simply 
and properly hell, there was any fire to torment them, or any other 
hurtful power to give them pain. Such punishments are reserved 
for the wicked, whilst the souls of the just, as became souls free 
from stain and dear to God, rested in the repose of a most blessed 

2 2. But below this abode of bliss is a lower region called Pur- 
gatory, because it is as a sort of cleansing place for purifying and 
making beautiful those souls who have ended their mortal life guilt- 
less of heinous sin, in the grace of God, but who still have the lighter 
marks of venial faults, or who have not yet acquitted the debt in- 
curred by mortal sins, which have been indeed retracted by salutary 
penance, but not so fully and perfectly as to get rid of the whole 
debt of the punishment due to their guilt. Here they continue to 
rub off, by the continued action of severe torments, the stains which 
still cling to them from the foul sin which of old encrusted them, 
until at length they have balanced the whole account as to guilt 
and as to pain which they were charged with, and got rid of all re- 
mains of either of these by means of suffering ; and so their spirits 
have become clean even to extreme brightness, and are allowed 
freely to behold their inheritance, the delay of the possession of 
which for a certain just time they have had to bear as a punish- 

23. The last of these abodes beneath the earth is Hell pro- 
perly so called, a most miserable abode of flames for ever inex- 
tinguishable, and of such unutterable and intolerable torments of 
every other kind, that if living men were only to apply themselves 
seriously each day for the space of one little hour, in picturing to 
themselves, even as imperfectly as the dimness of our present state 
permits, the nature of these torments, they would certainly feel 
greater horror of making themselves guilty of all the crime and 
wickedness by which they do not hesitate, almost in sport and with 
easy carelessness, to incur the sentence of having to endure these 
fearful torments throughout all eternity. There is Lucifer, prince 
of the spirits who rebelled against God. There are all the devils 
who followed his party, and were cast down thither with him from 
heaven. There are all those men who, from the beginning of the 
world, have breathed their last out of the grace of God and guilty 
of mortal sin. Those who have once been cast into these flames 
of hell suffer and groan there eternally and hopelessly, ever tor- 
mented by the keenest sense 01 immense and numberless pains, of 

Notes to Book IL 2>?> ^ 

which they know for certain that they can never have, from any 
quarter at all, throughout an eternity of ages, any remedy or any 
relaxation or any consolation, however small. 

24. O my brethren, what madness is this of ours, that we go 
on living so careless as we do of all fear of hell, while we are all 
the time preparing food for those undying flames by heaping upon 
our consciences the burthens of sin ever worse and worse ! Is not 
this a plain sign that our faith is, I do not say small, but altoge- 
ther none ? We profess it indeed with our mouths, but our deeds 
and our life refute it far more cogently ; for one who calls himself 
a Christian, and allows himself that license in sin which the Mus- 
sulmans and idolaters take, must certainly be thought a deceiver 
and liar when he says that he believes in the everlasting fires and 
punishments of hell reserved for those who violate God's law. The 
Church, whether of the faithful who are militant on earth, or of 
the Saints who reign with God triumphant in heaven, never prays 
for the dead who have been cast into the pit of hell ; for she well 
knows they are shut out from Paradise for all eternity, that their 
hope is absolutely lost, their ruin irreparable. But the Church, 
both on earth and in heaven, aids with charitable prayers the 
souls who suffer in the pains of Purgatory, and is also full of care 
for the souls who are still in this world ; she strives to obtain them 
grace from God, by means of which they may escape the utter 
misery of falling into the everlasting flames of hell. 

25. Jesus Christ died on Friday, and His most holy soul, 
always united to the Divinity, descended into Limbus, and led 
from thence all the souls whom He found there awaiting His 
coming ; and then on the third day, which was Sunday, He rose 
from the dead, reuniting His most holy soul to the body which it 
had quitted when He expired upon the cross. Presently, in His 
recovered life and in full possession of all the qualities of immor- 
tality. He appeared first to His most sacred Virgin Mother Mary, 
then to His Apostles and disciples, and others dear to Him, so 
that all that most bitter grief which they had suffered at His 
death was wiped away and abundantly compensated. He also 
offered, by means of His Apostles, pardon to His enemies and to 
those who had crucified Him, and granted it to all who consented 
to receive this grace. There were great numbers of these ; for it 
turned out wonderfully that many of those who had obstinately 
refused to believe in Jesus Christ when He was alive, preaching, 
and confirming what He taught by great miracles, yet, — when He 
was no longer seen or heard, but believed, on the testimony of His 

332 5/. Francis Xavier. 

Apostles, to have risen from the dead, — these same put full faith 
in Him, placed all their hope in Him, and professed His reli- 
gion and His worship, as the religion and the worship of God and 
the Saviour of men. And that what we have thus been putting 
forth is true, affirmed by St. Thomas in these words : • I believe 
in Jesus Christ, who descended into hell, and the third day rose 
again from the dead.* 

26. Jesus remained upon the earth after His resurrection from 
the dead for forty days, for two reasons, as far as we can under- 
stand. First, in order fully to convince His disciples of His re- 
surrection, and secondly to teach them what they must do. They 
had been so disturbed by the most unexpected event of His death, 
they had been so swallowed up by sorrow on that account, that 
they were brought with the greatest difficulty to believe in His 
resurrection ; nor was it enough for Him to appear to them once 
or twice ; there was need of time, and the multiplication of the 
most manifest possible proofs of His really having returned to 
Hfe by means of repeated meetings with Him. So our Lord, 
so full of condescension and kindness, that He might do this in 
a sweet gentle way, adapted to the infirmity of human nature, 
put off for forty days His triumphant entrance into heaven, and 
during this interval He instructed His disciples, in frequent dis- 
courses, what they were to believe, what they were to do, what 
they were afterwards to teach all nations, and what, after having 
convinced them of His doctrine, they were to enjoin on them to 
do, in order that they, and all those who should believe their 
preaching, might be able to reach the kingdom of heaven, and in 
due time follow Him there, whither He was to go before them. 

27. Having fully gained both these ends, having entirely driven 
from the minds of His disciples all doubt concerning the death 
and resurrection of Himself, the true Son of God and Saviour of 
mankind, and having taught them sufficiently all things concern- 
ing the kingdom of God, that is, about founding the Church, the 
doctrine to be taught in it, the sacraments, and all other points 
of Christian discipline, which the Apostles were to institute through- 
out the whole world — then Jesus Christ, having no longer any 
reason to remain on earth, went forth with the Virgin Mary His 
Mother, the Apostles, and many others, to Mount Olivet, and 
there in the sight of them all ascended into the highest heavens, 
taking with Him the patriarchs set free from Limbus. Then opened 
wide the lofty gates of heaven, and all the Angels came forth to 
meet our Lord in His triumph, and made for Him a glorious 

Notes to Book 11, ^^;^ 

train up to the throne prepared for Him at the right hand of God 
the Father. Then He returned to the place whence He had 
come down to take upon Him our flesh in the holy womb of His 
Virgin Mother. There He sits now, the advocate of sinners, 
pleading our cause with His Father and disarming His lawful 
wrath, and sending us aid, by help of which we may be able to 
escape the danger of eternal damnation. And this is the mean- 
ing of the article of the Creed which is attributed to St. James 
the Less : ' I believe in Jesus Christ, Who ascended into heaven, 
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.' 

28. But since this world, which had a beginning, must also 
have an end to close it ; and that this its last scene may be as it 
ought to be, and in accordance with the divine Providence of its 
Creator, the intercourse of human society and the succession and 
change of different generations, propagating themselves far and 
wide, will not cease before a just judgment shall have been pro- 
nounced on the thoughts and words and actions of all men, al- 
lotting to each its due recompense. Jesus Christ, the supreme 
Judge, is to descend from heaven to pass this judgment on the 
causes of all men ; and that this should certainly be was declared 
by Angels on the very day of His ascension from the earth. He 
will open His court, in which all men who have lived in any age 
and in every place will have to make appearance before the inexor- 
able tribunal of the almighty allknowing Judge from Whom nothing 
is concealed, and will have to answer the questions, whether they 
have believed the dogmas proposed to them by the Church, and 
whether they have kept the commandments. Those who have 
done this will be admitted into the glory of Paradise ; those who 
have refused to believe, as Mussulmans, Jews, and Gentiles, will 
be given up to everlasting fire, from which there will be no re- 
demption ; and those who have professed the faith, as bad Chris- 
tians have done, but have neglected to obey the commandments 
of the Decalogue, those in like manner will be condemned by the 
irrevocable sentence of Jesus Christ to flames which are to burn 
for ever. 

29. Before these things come to pass, and when the end of 
the world is at hand, all men then alive must die ; for death is a 
debt of nature which every one must pay. Every man is born 
on the condition that one day he cease to live, and since not 
even Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, was exempted from 
this law, it is plain that it would be a rash and foolish hope in 
any one else to promise himself the privilege. But Jesus Christ 

334 ^f- Francis Xavier. 

did not die for Himself, but for our sins, and He rose again by 
His own power, that by His own resurrection He might ratify our 
hope of one day rising again, and to make the bitter necessity of 
death more tolerable to good and pious men. His friends, by 
Himself sharing it to be our example. So, even if perchance 
there were to be found when the end of the world is at hand some 
saints perfect in all virtue, we must not think that they would 
pass to the happiness which they have hoped and merited without 
death. They also must taste of death, and then with the rest of 
men they will be restored to life, each one taking again the body 
which he had before, but that body transformed into a better 
condition by the attributes of beatitude ; and so they will enter 
into the plenitude of their promised bliss. 

30. When Jesus Christ shall thus descend from Heaven to 
hold the last judgment, all men from first to last who have before 
died shall rise again, all shall be judged by Him, good and wicked 
alike, but with an immense difference between them which can 
never be changed throughout eternity; the good passing on to 
everlasting joy, and the wicked to death and endless woe. This 
is the truth which St. Philip professed, saying, ' I believe in 
Jesus Christ, Who will come to judge the living and the dead. 

31. And now, Christians, when we sign ourselves with the 
sign of the Cross, we profess our certain faith in the most Holy 
Trinity. This mystery of the Holy Trinity is this : we believe and 
adore One only God in Three Persons. The First Person is God 
the Father, Who is neither made, nor created, nor begotten ; the 
Second Person is God the Son, Who is begotten of God the Father, 
not made, nor created ; the Third Person is God the Holy Ghost, 
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, but is neither made 
nor created. This we indicate every time that we sign ourselves, 
by making with the hand the form of a Cross. For we put the 
right hand to the forehead and we say, In the name of the Father, 
and thus we show that God the Father is neither made nor be- 
gotten. Then bringing the hand down to the lower part of the 
breast, and pronouncing these words. And of the Son, we signify 
God the Son, Who is begotten of God the Father, but not made, 
nor created. Finally, we touch with the hand the left shoulder, 
saying at the same time. And of the Holy, and then the right 
shoulder, saying the word Ghost; and thus we declare that the 
Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. 

32. This is the faith which every good Christian is bound to 
hold and to confess without any hesitation, believing, adoring, 

Notes to Book 11. ^t,^ 

and glorifying the Holy Ghost, consubstantial with the Father 
and the Son, and proceeding from them both ; Who by His holy 
inspirations calls us back from sin, and moves our hearts to' 
observe the ten commandments of the law of God our Lord, and 
the precepts of our holy Mother the Catholic Church ; and Who 
prompts us on to practise the works of mercy both spiritual and 
corporal. This doctrine of the divinity of the Holy Ghost St. 
Bartholomew professed in these words, ' I believe in the Holy 

33. All we who have embraced the Christian religion have 
resolved to observe its duties and keep its faith, and we ought not 
only to believe without doubt and as truths necessary to salvation 
all things concerning Christ our Lord, God and man, that the 
apostles, disciples, martyrs, and saints have believed ; but at the 
same time we are also all bound by the same necessity to be per- 
fectly convinced that He has instituted the Catholic Church upon 
the earth, the rulers of which are directed by the Holy Ghost ; so 
that it is not permitted us in any way to doubt that what they 
prescribe as to be observed and what they teach as to be held is 
right and true. For in all things which by universal consent they 
decree to be done or avoided by all men, — as, for instance, in what 
after mature counsel they define concerning ancient dogmas, or 
controversies concerning these dogmas, which arise from time 
to time, — they have assistance of the Holy Spirit promised to 
them, by which they are not permitted to err. Therefore, the 
sacred canons of the Fathers, the decrees of the Councils, the 
universal edicts of the Supreme Pontiffs, which are set forth by 
the Cardinals, the Patriarchs, the Archbishops, the Bishops, and 
the other Prelates of the Church, ought to be received by us with 
humble veneration, certain faith, and ready obedience ; and we 
ought to be firmly persuaded that these things are enjoined and 
taught by the authority and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who 
continues to govern the Church, and guide it to its appointed end 
of eternal happiness by means of the ministers whom He has put 
in His own place. This is what the holy Apostle and Evangelist 
St. Matthew commended to us when he said, ' I beheve in the 
holy Catholic Church.' 

34. Another thing which we believe most certainly, if we do 
not bear falsely the name of Christian, is that the immense merits 
which Jesus Christ, by the heroic works performed during His 
mortal life, both by His actions and His sufferings, and His obedi- 
ence to His Father, heaped up in store for the salvation of men. 


St. Francis Xavier. 

are communicated to, and by a certain inward influx are profitable 
to, all true Christians who remain in the grace of God. So that 
as in the natural body, the members communicate to each other 
what each has of good, the vital strength spreading itself princip- 
ally from the head over all the limbs, so in a mystical body such 
as is the Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head, all the single 
members, that is to say, all the faithful universally, derive a secret 
sap of life by means of which they flourish and increase, from 
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, to Whom as their 
Head they are joined. For inward nourishment of heavenly food 
flows to them from Him, principally by the channels of the seven 
sacraments : these are. Baptism, Confirmation commonly called 
holy Chrism, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, 
and Marriage. Those who receive these sacred mysteries with 
the due and fit dispositions, receive habitual grace, or the in- 
crease of this grace — a lifegiving quality of the soul which God 
has granted to men, unworthy in themselves of such a blessing, 
for the sake of the holy works which Jesus Christ performed during 
His earthly life. For because Jesus Christ, to obey His Father, 
endured so many ills, suffered of His own free will so many in- 
juries and insults, the most bitter sorrows, the cross and death, 
He has merited any reward, however great, by this. But possess- 
ing of Himself all happiness. He needs no reward, and He transfers 
His right to such reward to us, and sets down as paid to Himself 
the profit that we gather therefrom. Hence the grace which is 
conferred upon us is the fruit of the merits of Jesus Christ, and is 
like an influence spread from the head over the members. 

35. And as in the natural body it is not the head alone that 
gives nurture, strength, and life to the members which are subject to 
it, but also the members themselves produce these effects by secret 
influences on one another ; so it is principally, but not altogether 
solely, from our share in the treasures which Jesus Christ has ac- 
cumulated by His merits, what He did well and suffered patiently 
during His mortal life, that we are enriched. For Jesus Christ has 
willed that something should fall upon us and come to us from 
the store of favour with Him which has been acquired by His ser- 
vants our brethren, by their virtuous actions and laborious endur- 
ance ; so when they pray, grace is granted to us ; when they suffer 
for us, or offer their former sufferings for us, we are set free from 
the penalty we owe to God's justice. Lastly, all their good works 
of every kind, as long as we remain in the grace of God and the 
unity of the body of the Church, profit us in various ways, their 

Notes to Book IL 2>2>7 

superabundance being communicated to those united with them, 
and flowing over them with saving power. 

36. We acknowledge also and confess that in God our Lord 
dwells power and authority to remit sins, that is to say, to efface 
the stain and remit the punishment of guilty actions, by which, 
abusing our gift of free will, we separate ourselves from God and 
rebel against Him; thus deservedly falling from His grace, to 
which He had before so kindly admitted us. We also confess 
and believe that this same power has been given and communi- 
cated by Jesus Christ our Lord to the priests of the Catholic 
Church, and that by the effect of this communication they now 
have authority to absolve from their sins whomsoever they find 
sufficiently disposed to be lawfully loosed, before God, from the 
bonds of their faults. 

37. For this reason, those who feel themselves guilty of hav- 
ing offended God ought to labour earnestly to dispose themselves', 
showing due repentance for their faults, to obtain their pardon, 
and so secure the salvation of their soul. The cause is tried in 
the sacred tribunal which sinners approach, the priest being judge 
whether the penitent is worthy or net of the benefit of absolution ; 
the accuser in this court is the saaie as the accused. The priest, 
as judge, takes cognizance of the cause, diligently considering 
everything as becomes so subhme an office. . The penitent ought 
to make an entire and full confession of all mortal sins, unless 
time should be just wanting to go through all, as might happen 
in cases of extreme peril. When all sins are sufficiently known, 
and the priest pronounces the sentence of absolution, then the 
grace of God is poured afresh into the soul of the penitent, and 
by it are effaced the sins by which the soul had before been dis- 
figured, and the certain remission of eternal punishment which 
had been incurred by these sins is granted to them. These two 
articles of Catholic doctrine are comprised in these words of St. 
Simon : ' I believe in the communion of saints and the forgive- 
ness of sins.' 

38. But as injustice would be done to the infinite goodness 
and justice of God, unless we believed firmly that God would 
never fail to reward abundantly those who serve Him faithfully 
by exact observance of His holy law, or, on the other hand, to 
visit with condign punishment the wicked despisers of His God- 
head and the obstinate transgressors of His commandments ; 
therefore we firmly believe that there will be a resurrection of the 
body, that is to say, that all men without exception, those who 

VOL. I. z 

338 St, Francis Xavier, 

have lived in times past, those who are alive to-day, or who shall 
live after us, will again come to life, and resume at the end of the 
world the same bodies which they had when they died, and will 
live thenceforth for ever therein either in torments or in glory. 
Because it is clearly necessary that God our Lord, in His most 
righteous and incorruptible justice, should, on the one hand, com- 
fort with eternal joys the bodies of the Saints, who, during their 
mortal life, have made their senses and members subject to con- 
tinual toil, even enduring, so as not to be separated from the love 
of God, many insults and blows from their persecutors, who have 
striven by all violence and savage cruelty to force them to offend 
God. For though what was virtuous and manly in this belonged 
to the soul, which remained constant in duty, yet the body also, 
having been deprived of many goods proportioned to it, having 
been pained, tormented, and oftentimes inhumanly torn to pieces 
on such occasions, is worthy, as well as the soul, of having its 
proper share in rest, pleasure, and glory. 

39. On the other hand, it was equally proper that the bodies 
of those wicked men who, during their life, regardless of the 
divine law, have stained themselves with all hcentiousness and 
every kind of vice, following their passions of gluttony or im- 
purity in contempt of the commands of God, should be punished 
in their turn, and should, by having to bear for ever, against their 
will, fires that can never be quenched, expiate those pleasures on 
which they fed their appetites in the indulgence of unlawful lust, 
and thus, though too late, they should know how great an evil 
it is for a poor worthless creature to have dared to despise and 
provoke the supreme majesty of God, adorable above all. For 
these reasons, as I said, all mankind, the good and wicked alike, 
will rise again at that day of final Judgment, and their souls will 
put on again the same bodies which they received at their birth, 
and which they animated till the term of their death. They will 
be thenceforth united to them by a bond which will never be dis- 
solved, and go with them, according to the merits of the life of 
each of mankind, either to heaven, to reign with Jesus Christ in 
the glory of Paradise, or to hell, to be with the devil in endless 
woe. This is what St. Jude confessed when he said, ' I believe 
in the resurrection of the body.' 

40. But as our soul, which was created in the image and like- 
ness of the Almighty God, inasmuch as it has a spiritual nature, 
is endowed wdth faculties which represent the divine perfections, 
that is to say, the will, the intelligence, and the memory, and as 

Notes to Book IL 339 

such has from its creation been impelled by a certain innate de- 
sire inspired by its Creator, of uniting itself to Him of Whom it is 
the image, we cannot believe that so excellent a creation of God 
had this ever active instinct and longing given to it by its Creator 
for nothing. We ought rather to believe undoubtingly, as all 
Christians are persuaded, that by the divine assistance the human 
soul, unless it prevent this of itself, will hereafter have its desire 
satisfied, and will come even to the possession of that sovereign 
good which we call eternal life ; and even before the resurrection 
of the body the souls which have died in the grace of God, and 
have been completely purified from all remains of sin, enter into 
possession of this life eternal, being admitted from that moment 
to the sight and the enjoyment of God. 

41. Hereafter these souls, having again taken and united to 
themselves their bodies, in a state far better and more perfect, will 
enjoy that happiness, of which we are speaking, uninterruptedly for 
an unending eternity. All that endless space of time the souls of the 
Saints will enjoy with God in heaven, along with the choirs of num- 
berless blessed Angels and jubilant and triumphant hosts of Saints 
from among men, the loving and beatific presence of God the Crea- 
tor and Lord of all, Who will heap on every one of them all the 
blessings of heaven. The excellence of these blessings is so sub- 
lime, that however much in the mortal life we may strain our- 
selves in thought or by reasoning, we can never set before our 
minds any idea or picture of them which approaches even at a 
long distance the truth of what they are. So far transcending all 
our powers is the magnificence of God when it sheds its whole 
self on the Saints whom He loves ! Nevertheless, the little which 
we can as it were stammer out concerning that ineffable felicity, 
abundantly suffices to show us how greatly we ought to desire it. 

42. There then the Saints live happy and at rest in a glorious 
peace, with no complaint or offence of any one, with nothing to 
complain of in any one, loved and honoured by all there, all bearing 
to all the sweetest mutual love and veneration, abounding in all 
goods, I do not say which they need, but which they can possibly 
desire to make their enjoyment and glory perfect. They can feel 
no evil, nor be assailed by any, nor have the fear of "any : and on 
the other hand, so great and so profuse is their most blessed 
abundance in all goods of every kind, as to surpass all their wishes, 
and to be enough for the enjoyment of endless ages. And all this 
blessedness is so certain and so securely guarded for them, that 
there can be no fear or risk of its being overturned or diminished 

34<^ St. Francis Xavier, 

for ever. And this is what St. Matthias understood when he said, 
' I believe in the life everlasting.' 

(4.) Other Writings of St. Fra7icis Xavier. 
We find in a letter (which will be inserted in the second 
volume of this work) written in 1552, that Francis Xavier tells St. 
Ignatius that he has written a book in Japanese ' explaining the 
origin of the world and all the mysteries of the life of Christ.* It 
may perhaps have been a version of the explanation of the Creed 
which we have just given, with perhaps some special passages to 
meet the peculiar errors of the Japanese. This book, he adds, he 
has also written out ' in Chinese character,' meaning to take it 
with him to China, If this was not the same in substance as his 
explanation of the Creed written for the people of the Moluccas, 
it is lost to us. Orlandini also tells us {Hist. Soc. Jesu, 1. xiv. n. 
133) that Francis wrote a book at Cagoxima for the Japanese 
which contained a life of Christ, the penitential psalms, the litanies, 
and the order of the Church festivals. And in another place (n. 
147) he tells us that some sermons were composed by Francis in 
Spanish, which the Japanese convert, who took the name of Paul 
of the Holy Faith, translated into Japanese. These also are lost, 
as far as is known, though it is impossible to say that they do not 
exist in Japan. We may add to our list two of his writings which 
are not lost. The first is the form of profession of faith which 
Francis taught his catechumens to learn by heart and to repeat 
before receiving baptism. 

' Profession of Faith. 
O my God, I truly confess, as becomes a good Christian, the 
most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Three Persons 
in one God ; and I firmly believe, without hesitation, whatever our 
Mother the Roman Church holds and believes, and so I promise 
that I will live and die in the holy Catholic faith of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, God and Man, Who died for us, and now, for and in- 
stead of the time at which I am to die, in case I be not then able 
to speak, I confess my Lord Jesus Christ with my whole heart. 

The second is a Prayer to the Five Wounds of our Lord. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose power all things are, and 
there is no one who can resist Thy will ; Who didst vouchsafe to 


ISiotes to Book I L 34 

be born as man, to die, and to rise again : by the mystery of Thy 
most Sacred Body, and by Thy Five Wounds, and the shedding 
of Thy most precious Blood, have mercy upon us, according as 
Thou knovvest what is necessary for our souls and bodies ; deliver 
us from the temptations of the devil, and from all things by which 
Thou knowest us to be oppressed, and keep us safe and strengthen 
us in Thy service unto the end ; give us time to do true penance, 
and give us the remission of all our sins when we die ; make us 
also to love one another, our brethren, our sisters, our friends, and 
our enemies, and hereafter to rejoice for ever with all Thy Saints 
in Thy kingdom. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest 
and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen. 

A stipposed Letter to Francis Mancias omitted at p. i\i. 

The letter mentioned in the note to p. 211 is almost certainly 
a sort of abridgment of other letters in the collection, if it should 
not rather be called a piece of patchwork made up by some 
copyist. F. Menchacha, Prolegofnena in S. Xaveriiwt, p. Ixii., 
tells us that he inserts it ' instar cujusdam breviarii' of other let- 
ters. Such as it is, we subjoin it here. It is singular among the 
series to Mancias (if we except the first letter), in having the full 
formal salutation at the beginning. 

To Francis Mancias. 

May the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ always help 
and favour us ! Amen. 

I most earnestly beg of you, my dearest brother, to keep up 
a continual visitation of the coast where you are, going through 
the villages one by one, baptizing the newborn infants and in- 
structing the rest. Assemble the men and women separately ; 
make them all repeat the Catechism together ; make them do 
the same frequently in private. Be on your guard against stay- 
ing too long in one place, but go round the whole of the villages 
again and again, as I did when I was there, and as I do now 
where I am, though I have no interpreter. This fact will make 
it easy for you to imagine what kind of life I lead, and what sort 
of conversations I hold, when neither I nor the people here un- 
derstand one another. However, I baptize the children, which 
does not require an interpreter, and I look to the wants of the 
poor, whose miseries and penury are manifest enough without one. 

34^ St. Francis Xavier, 

What I want you to do most particularly is to go on without 
ceasing baptizing the infants and instructing the children ; for 
even if the grown up people and the fathers and mothers lose 
the happiness of heaven, at least the little ones, and the children 
who pass from this life before they have lost their baptismal in- 
nocence, will enjoy it. 

As soon as the converts come back from the pearl fishery, 
visit the sick, if there are any, and provide them with what is 
necessary. At the same time let the children say the several 
prayers over them, and you yourself read the Gospel, just as you 
saw me do when I was in those parts. 

I am now setting off for Cape Comorin, where I am taking 
twenty boats laden with provisions, to assist those poor converts 
who, terrified at the approach of the Badages, who are the fiercest 
possible enemies of all Christians, have left their villages and 
taken refuge on the little barren islands ; and there they are now, 
exposed to all the heat of the sun, and the extremes of hunger 
and thirst. Some of them are even dying under their sufferings, 
and my heart is pierced through and through at their wretched 
lot. I beg of you, over and over again, go on praying for us, I 
am writing to the Patangatins and to the magistrates on your 
coast, to ask them to help these poor folk with their alms. I 
want you to take care that these alms are not extracted from the 
unwilling and the poor, but from willing and rich givers. Let 
the collection be made with all consideration of the inclination as 
well as of the powers of those who are canvassed for it. Farewell. 





Francis at Malacca, 

The years spent by Francis Xavier in the peninsula of India 
itself, before sailing to the farther East, which was to be the 
scene of so many of his most glorious labours and most won- 
derful miracles, are quite exceptional as regards the number of 
his letters which remain to us. We must not expect in fu- 
ture anything like the almost daily chronicle with which, for a 
short space of time, the letters to Mancias have furnished us ; 
and we must be content to take that series as giving us an in- 
sight into the affectionate charity and ingenious industry with 
which he helped on his subordinates, and looked after the in- 
terests of the converts under their charge, which we may be 
quite sure reveals to us what was ordinary in him, but of which 
we shall not hereafter be able to furnish so much unconscious 
evidence in his own words. The two years and a half (to speak 
roughly) which followed on his departure from the shrine of St. 
Thomas for Malacca and the Eastern Archipelago are, compara- 
tively, barren indeed in correspondence ; and although there are 
abundant facts, attested by authorities in which we can place 
the greatest confidence, preserved to us as to his life at this 
time, we cannot but lament that we shall have to rely so much 
more on the evidence of others than on his own accounts. 
These were > ears even unusually full of incident, of great suc- 
cesses, strange adventures, dangers, and escapes. They showed 
in the most striking way his wonderful power of winning souls, 
his influence on the public mind, his immense supernatural 
courage and confidence in God, his zeal and charity, and his 
miraculous gifts. Full of spiritual conquest themselves, they 
opened to him — as if in fulfilment of the promise implied in 
the Divine call which bade him leave India to help the new 

34^ S^' Francis Xavier, 

converts in Celebes — fresh fields of labour and enterprize for 
the glory of God, of which he had had no thought before. It 
is not too much to say that, at their close, his name filled the 
whole Eastern Archipelago as that of a great Saint and Apostle 
of God, gifted with the most marvellous miraculous powers, 
and that it seemed only natural to look forward for him to still 
grander achievements. In those days of ever fresh energy and 
wonder, when islands and countries, which had before loomed 
like shadows upon the bordering mist between the realms of 
knowledge and of imagination, were daily coming forth into 
the light, in all their fairy beauty and mythical richness, as the 
mariners and merchants of Portugal and Spain pushed their 
venturesome prows further and further into a mysterious and 
seemingly limitless world, a man had at last appeared in the 
East who would go, for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
wherever he could find a ship to take him, who feared nothing 
but that he might himself begin to fear, and who seemed to 
wield an imperial sway alike over the powers of nature and 
the hearts of his fellowmen. 

Francis Xavier reached Malacca towards the end of Sep- 
tember 1545. Malacca was then at the height of prosperity 
and pride. Originally a small town, it had gained immense 
importance from its convenient situation as a meetingplace 
for the merchandize of the two great divisions of the Eastern 
world — Arabia, Persia, India on the one hand ; China, Japan, 
the Philippines, the Moluccas on the other ; it was a port for 
Siam and Pegu, and fronted the great island of Sumatra on the 
south. At the time of the Portuguese conquest, under Alfonso 
Albuquerque, it is said that the town, which now seems almost 
confined to the neighbourhood of the river which divides it in 
two,^ stretched along the seacoast for as much as a league. 
The Portuguese had gained possession of it more than thirty 
years before the visit of Francis Xavier ; they had built a strong 
fortress, and appear also to have fortified the town itself, which 
became their chief seat in the regions beyond the Ganges — 
much what Singapore is to the English at the present day. 

1 Wallace, Malay Archipelago, voL iv. p. 39. 

Francis at Malacca, 347 

In fact, Singapore has now succeeded to the place in mercan- 
tile importance once occupied by Malacca. The writers of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are loud in their praises of 
the beauty of its buildings, its soft luxurious climate, the happy 
mixture of moist mists and fresh breezes which temper the 
otherwise sultry atmosphere, and keep the land clothed with 
the verdure of perpetual spring, even under the torrid zone. Its 
inhabitants were, and indeed are, a motley population, the in- 
digenous Malays predominating then, as the Chinese are said 
to predominate now. They had a character through the East 
for courtesy and refinement, but were conspicuous also, even 
among Oriental populations, for corruption and license of every 
kind. All the vices and miseries which Francis had found at 
Goa he was sure to find here, aggravated in the case of the 
Portuguese by the greater distance from Europe and from the 
seat of government ; though, as there were no native commu- 
nities of Christians to plunder or to protect, he would breathe 
freely at least from the annoyances of such men as Cosmo de 
Payva^ and not have to exert himself to remedy the mischief 
caused by their tyranny. 

The fame, of the ^holy Father' had been wafted over the 
Gulf of Bengal as it had before crossed the more narrow seas 
between Cape Comorin and Manaar, and the coming of Francis 
was expected and even known before he landed. It was never 
discovered how the news flew about, that the ship which hove 
in sight on that September day bore an Apostle on its deck, 
but so it was — the whole shore was crowded when he came to 
land, and young and old, men and women, were eager to catch 
the first sight of one of whom they had heard such wonderful 
things. The children in particular crowded round him, or were 
presented to him by their mothers, and it was noted that as he 
took them in his arms and placed his hand on their heads to 
bless them, he called them all by their right names. The gene- 
ral corruption of manners did not make the people the less vie 
with each other to do him honour, and to offer him a lodging 
in their houses ; but, as usual, he took up his abode in the 
hospital, though after a time he seems to have left it to live in 

348 St. Francis Xavier, 

the house of some poor friends, close to a part of the wall which 
surrounded the city. The house stood on a high point over the 
shore, and was long considered to have been specially blessed 
in consequence of having harboured such a guest, and tales 
were told of persons who had fallen over the wall on to some 
rocks far below, and been taken up unhurt.^ 

The work at Macazar which Francis Xavier had specially 
had in view when he sailed from Meliapor had been anticipated 
when he arrived at Malacca. The Commandant there had al- 
ready sent a ship to Celebes with a priest on board and several 
Portuguese laymen. Francis determined to await its return be- 
fore proceeding further. Meantime he would give himself to the 
immense spiritual needs of Malacca itself. He began by very 
great austerities and continual prayers. He is said to have 
passed two or three days together without eating ; his nights 
were spent in prayer, save a few short hours which he gave to 
necessary sleep. Two brothers, by name Pereira, watched him 
by night, and afterwards related how they had seen him immov- 
able on his knees before a crucifix, his eyes swimming with tears, 
and his face burning like fire. The whole of the day, after he 
had said mass and recited his office, he gave to the exercises of 
charity of various kinds which he had already practised in Goa 
^visiting the sick in the hospital, the criminals in the prison, 
waiting on them, instructing them, giving them the sacraments, 
or hearing confessions and teaching in the churches; gathering 
the children together for the Catechism, teaching them pious 
songs, with which, as time went on, the houses and the streets 
began to ring ; and going with them through the city at night- 
fall, calling on the people, by the sound of a bell, to pray for 
those in mortal sin, and for the suffering souls in Purgatory. 
He preached to the people on Sundays, but his instructions to 
the children were given daily, and be frequently found time for 
the slaves, who were in great numbers in the city. 

Malacca was never thoroughly converted by Francis Xavier, 
though he spent more labour upon it, perhaps, than upon any 
other city in the East, and though it was the scene of some of 
2 See [e.^,) Massei, 1. ii. cap. 8. He mentions two children and a woman. 

Francis at Malacca, 349 

his greatest and most famous miracles. He left it at last — as 
the Apostles were told to leave the cities which would not 
listen to them — shaking off the dust from his feet as a witness 
against it, ordering the priests of the Society to withdraw from 
it, and having prophesied calamities which were to befall it. 
But this was as yet future. For the time Malacca was notably 
improved. An abominable custom, which allowed fullgrovvn 
girls to go frolicking about the city in male attire and without 
any escort, and which naturally resulted in the ruin of many, 
was put an end to. The obscene songs which had resounded 
in the streets were changed for Christian hymns. Many great 
conversions took place, and the scandals which came from the 
open practice of concubinage were in several cases set right. 
But there were persons of influence, and even high ecclesiastics, 
who set the example of turning a deaf ear to the remonstrances 
and exhortations of Francis ; and with this bad example to 
encourage them, the mass of the inhabitants treated him with 
respect, reverence, and admiration, and that was all. Nothing 
is more hardhearted than frivolous voluptuousness — the spirit 
of Herod and his Court, who would gladly have seen our Lord 
work a miracle to supply them with a new excitement, but 
before whom He, Who had so many words for the heathen 
Pilate, resolutely held His peace. 

The accounts that remain to us of the four months which 
Francis spent at this time in Malacca, represent him as strain- 
ing to the utmost the condescending charity of which we have 
already seen more than one example. He was to be found 
talking familiarly with rude soldiers, looking on at their games, 
interesting himself in their success or in their bad fortune. 
More than this, he put in practice all the devices which the 
extreme ingenuity of his zeal for souls could suggest to win 
scandalous sinners by degrees to a better life. He invited 
himself to the table, or accepted the invitations, of the men 
who were known to be living openly with the objects of their 
unlawful love, and, treating the poor victims of shame as if they 
had been virtuous ladies, he brought about in some cases their 
marriage and in other cases their dismissal. Qne rich and 

50 St, Francis Xavier. 

notorious sinner had as many as seven of these poor creatures 
Uving with him, and Francis managed to induce him to part 
first with one and then with another, until at length he brought 
him to his senses, made him dismiss the remainder with suit- 
able portions, and then heard his general confession and recon- 
ciled him to God, determined to lead in future a life of virtue 
and piety.^ Another remarkable conversion, of a different 
character, was that of a Jewish Rabbi, who was highly esteemed 
among his own people, and had distinguished himself by the 
abuse which he had poured upon Francis whenever his name 
was mentioned in his presence. Francis, hearing of this, made 
special prayers for him, and then, as he often did, went and 
asked the Rabbi to give him a dinner. The Jew, knowing the 
esteem in which Francis was held in Malacca, did not like to 
refuse him, but received him at first without any cordiality. 
Francis won him by his charming, bright, and humble conver- 
sation. He did not speak a word of controversy, but took his 
leave with great expressions of gratitude, his host accompany- 
ing him to the door, and refusing to let him go away without 
promising to come again. A friendship thus sprang up which 
ended in Francis convincing the Rabbi of the truth of the 
Christian religion, and his being solemnly baptized to the great 
joy of the city. 

There was no lack of miracles to authenticate the mission 
of Francis, and to give force to his words at this time. Indeed 
miracles seem to have become almost matters of course, as if 
to make the obstinacy of those who could not be converted by 
his preaching more inexcusable. * He wrought so many,' says 

3 It was at Malacca, after his return from the Moluccas, and consequently 
not precisely at the time of which we are spealcing, that Francis is related to 
have converted one of these unhappy women in a still more wonderful manner. 
He had supped with a merchant in whose house she was living, with another 
companion like herself ; and on being shown to his room, he asked to see the 
woman. Then he began to scourge himself on the shoulders with an iron chain, 
and, holding out another to the woman, bade her do for herself what he was 
doing for her. The merchant rushed in, and threw himself at the feet of Francis, 
crying out that he was the one who deserved such punishment ; and both he 
and his two companions, who were well provided for in marriage, began to 
lead a thoroughly Christian life. 

Francis at Malacca. 351 

Bartoli, ' that in the account given of them afterwards, in the 
sworn testimonies of that time, the miraculous cures are not 
counted one by one, or many together, but all in a mass, it 
being said then that he healed all the sick people whom he 
touched, and that his hands were believed to be endowed by 
Heaven with universal virtue against every sort of malady.'* 
There was at least one very conspicuous miracle, the recalling 
to life of a girl who had been three days buried. She was the 
daughter of a lately baptized woman, and had died at a time 
when Francis happened to be away from the town. * The 
mother,' says Bartoli, *who had sought him everywhere when 
her child was lying ill, as soon as she heard of his return, took 
courage to think that he might be as able to raise her now she 
was dead as he would have been to heal her when she was 
sick ; so she went at once to him, and throwing herself at his 
feet in floods of tears, began to say to him, exactly as Martha 
to Our Saviour, that if he had been there, her daughter would 
not have died ; but that nevertheless, if he were willing, he 

* Asia, lib. ii. p. 104. He mentions, however, several particular instances. 
I. Antonio Fernandez, a youth of fifteen, who was possessed by a devil, as well 
as sick of a mortal disease. His mother had recourse to an old Indian witch, 
whose incantations only made matters worse. At last, a pious woman of her 
acquaintance induced her to send for Francis Xavier, at whose approach the 
demoniac began to writhe and howl. Francis prayed. by his side, read the Pas- 
sion of our Lord, and applied a reliquary to the boy, who ceased from his con- 
tortions, and remained apparently senseless. Francis bade the mother give him 
some food at a certain time, when he would wake up and be able to take it, and 
bring him for nine mornings to the Church of our Lady del Monte, where he 
himself would say mass. The lad was quite cured the first morning. 2. Fran- 
cesco Lopez Almeida, who was nearly in his agony, and was cured by Francis 
laying his hand on his head, 3. A brother of Rodrigo Diaz Pereira, who had 
been unable to take food for three days, and was cured on making his confes- 
sion. 4. A child in convulsions, cured after the reading of ' a Gospel' over it. 
5. He also mentions one of the remarkable predictions which are common in 
the life of St. Francis, as to the great danger which a certain vessel would incur, 
in which a merchant had embarked a valuable cargo. Francis, after praying 
a moment, told him to go, in God's name, with the ship, and on no account to 
throw the goods overboard. The ship, in the course of the voyage, got aground, 
and it seemed inevitable that the cargo should be sacrificed, but the merchant 
pleaded the prediction and order of Francis, and after a short time the sea rose 
enough to lift the ship off the shoal. 

^S^ St. Francis Xavier, 

could make her return to life, that nothing was difficult to 
God, and that He would grant everything to his prayers. 
Francis marvelled to see so great faith in a woman who had 
not long ago been baptized, and as she seemed to him worthy 
of the grace which she asked, he lifted up his eyes to heaven 
and prayed God to grant her that consolation ; then he turned 
to her and said resolutely that she was to go, that her daughter 
was alive. She, between hope and fear, did not disbelieve 
his word, but because he had not offered himself to come with 
her to the place where the dead child was, to raise her to life, 
she answered that she had been three days buried. " It mat- 
ters not," said the Saint ; *' go and open the grave and you will 
find her alive." The woman made no more question, but with 
great faith and rejoicing ran to the church, and there, in the 
sight of many others who ran together with her at the miracle, 
caused the stone to be raised from the grave, and found the 
child alive.'* 

Francis stayed at Malacca till January 1546. We must 
now give some letters which he wrote, before leaving, to Por- 
tugal and to Goa, which will almost explain themselves. The 
first is nearly repeated in the second, but we are inclined to 
think that the two are distinct, the first having been written 
soon after his arrival at Malacca, and the second in December. 
He probably repeated what he had already said on account of 
the uncertainty which existed as to the safety of letters sent to 
so great a distance. 

(xLvii.) To the Society in Portugal. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

I wrote to you, dearest Brothers, from India that I was 
going to Macazar, where two kings have lately become Chris- 
tians. On my way I went to the city of St. Thomas (where 
all the people, both Christians and heathens, affirm that the 
body of the most holy Apostle St. Thomas lies), intending 

^ Asia, lib. ii. p. 106. 

Francis at Malacca. 


to sail thence for Malacca. As I was waiting at that town for 
an opportunity of sailing, a certain merchant, by name Joam 
d'Eyro, was guided by an inspiration from above to join me as 
my companion. After spending some days with me, and get- 
ting to know a little about heavenly things, he began to per- 
ceive that there were certain traffics and wares far superior to 
his own, of the existence of which he had never up to that time 
had even a suspicion. So he left his old merchandize and 
gave up his trade altogether, and embraced evangelical poverty. 
We have lately both arrived at Malacca, which is more than 
five hundred leagues distant from Goa, and we are already on 
the look out for an opportunity of sailing on to Macazar. 
People who come here from that island tell us that the nation 
there is wonderfully fit and ready for the religion of Christ. 
They have no temples of gods, and no priests of any sort to 
urge the people to their worship. In fact, the sun is the only 
thing that they worship as a god, and they have no other 
religion at all. So I pray yovi over and over again, dearest 
brothers, for your love to Christ, to come hither many of you 
of the Society every year, for there is the greatest possible 
dearth of workers such as you. Be quite sure that for bringing 
these heathen to the flock of Christ, there is no need of great 
learning, but of great practice in virtue, and of great force of 
the Holy Ghost. May God of His goodness give us all that 
gift ! Amen. 

Malacca [September] 1545. 

(xLviii.) To the Society in Portugal. 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

I wrote to you about my affairs at some length from India, 
before I set off on my voyage towards Macazar, where we have 
heard that two kings have become Christians. I have been 
waiting now for a month and a half at Malacca, looking out for 
a favourable occasion to sail for Macazar. We shall sail thither, 

VOL. T. A A 

354 S^' Francis Xavier. 

God willing, in about as much time more. Macazar is more 
than a thousand miles from Goa. Persons who have come 
here from thence tell us that the natives are very well fitted 
for the Gospel, so that a great number of Christians may be 
made in those parts. There are no temples of gods there, no 
priests of false religions ; they worship the rising sun, and no- 
thing else. On the other hand, the tribes are always at war 
with one another. 

Since I have been at Malacca, which is a city on the sea, a 
famous and crowded mart for merchants, I have had no lack 
of holy occupations. On Sundays I preach to the people, 
though I admire my own sermons much less than those do 
who are so good as to listen to them. Every day for an hour, 
and sometimes more, I teach the children the usual prayers. 
I live in the hospital, I hear the confessions of the sick, say 
mass for them, and give them holy communion. I am so over- 
whelmed by the number of persons who come to confess, that 
I cannot satisfy them all by any means. I also employ a con- 
siderable time in translating the Catechism from the Latin into 
a language which the people of Macazar understand f for it 
is very troublesome to be absolutely ignorant of the language 
of those one is living among. On my way from India, I went 
to the town of St. Thomas, where the natives affirm that the 
body of the Apostle is preserved. There are there more than 
a hundred Portuguese families. People visit the church, which 
is really very devotional, and all the inhabitants and neigh- 
bouring people agree in declaring that the body of the Apostle 
is laid in it. 

Whilst I was waiting there for an opportunity of sailing to 
Malacca, I met with a merchant who had come there with a 
ship full of merchandize. This man, as soon as he got to 
have a little insight into spiritual things, easily understood 
that there were certain other wares far more precious than his 
own, which he himself had never before met with. So he gave 
up his ship and his merchandize, and became my companion 

^ This was the Malay language, which was generally understood throughout 
the Archipelago. 

Francis at Malacca, 


in my voyage to Macazar. His name is Joam d'Eyro ; and he 
is now fully resolved to embrace poverty for his whole life and 
to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. He is thirty-five years of age, 
and has come to our Lord after serving in the ranks of the 
world all his life. He very much desires that you will pray for 
him and commend him to God. 

At Malacca several letters were delivered to me, some from 
Rome and some from Lisbon, and it is quite incredible how 
much joy they gave me and still give. Every time I read them 
— and I read them often and often — the effect on me is that 
I fancy I am over there with you, or that you are here with 
me. If this is not allowed us in body, at least it is allowed us 
in spirit. The Fathers who have come with Joam de Castro 
have written to me here from Goa about their arrival. I am 
now going to write back to them, that two of them are to go 
to Cape Comorin to help Francis Mancias, whom I left there 
with three native priests instructing the Christians of Comorin. 
The third I order to remain at Goa to teach humanities to the 
youth in the College of Santa Fe. The ship by which this goes 
is hastening its departure, so I will not speak of the matters 
about which I wrote from India. Next year I will write some 
long letters about the people of Macazar, if God so will. One 
thing I beseech you, dearest brothers — to come out here as 
many of the Society as possible, every year. Here we want a 
great many of you, and for the conversion of the heathen we 
do not require much knowledge of theology, but a great prac- 
tice of virtue. So I end, praying God that He will both show 
to us His holy will and give us the power to carry it out. 

Malacca, November loth, 1545. 

(xLix.) To Father Simon Rodriguez, 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

I beg and implore you, by the heart of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, to send out here as many as possible of the Society : 
but all of them, whether preachers or others, let them be men 

2,^6 St. Francis Xavier. 

of proved virtue. For the enticements to sin which offer them- 
selves out here are very many. So, even if they are not excel- 
lent in learning, I pray you over and over again, let them any- 
how be excellent in virtue ; for in these parts men look up to 
virtue more than to learning, though the thing which carries all 
before it is virtue adorned by learning. The fortified cities and 
Portuguese garrisons in India require, as a general rule, learned 
men. We are very greatly indebted to the King of Portugal, 
our most excellent patron, and to the Portuguese who are in 
India, for their, great benevolence and liberality to us. If we 
have any way at all of repaying them in kind for all their 
deserts to us, it is this one — as they are entangled in many 
great matters and enterprizes, to settle their minds and con- 
sciences for them, so that they may have clearly explained 
and laid open to them what they must do to be saved. May 
Christ our Lord, out of His goodness and mercy, hire many 
and good labourers into His vineyard, and bring us together 
again, wherever it may please Him, if not on earth, then at 
least in heaven. Amen. 

Malacca, December 5th, 1545. 

The letters which Francis Xavier mentions as having 
caused him so much delight must have furnished him with 
news of the progress of the Society up to the spring of the year 
in which he received them (1545). The annals of the Society 
for the previous year are full of the exertions of Peter Favre 
at Louvain and Cologne, and mention how he had been able 
to send a large band of recruits, mostly novices, and all men 
of literary culture, to Simon Rodriguez in Portugal, to add to 
the number of students in the rising College at Coimbra. They 
sailed from Antwerp with the Archbishop of Compostella, and 
were carried by a storm to Coruna, where one of them, Francis 
Strada, was asked to preach. He preached with so much vigour 
and unction, that one of the canons of Coruna renounced the 
world and joined the little band of Jesuit pilgrims on the spot. 
They went on to Compostella, and thence to Coimbra. The 
name of the canon was Joam Beira, and we find that he was 

Francis at Malacca, 357 

thought fit to be sent almost at once to the Indies, forming 
one of the band of three Fathers, who were the first recruits 
who reached Goa after Father Paul of Camerino and Mancias. 
The state of the College of Coimbra was flourishing and fall of 
the best hopes, and it was perhaps the news of this which 
made Francis write so joyously to the Society in Portugal. 

He would have been still more delighted if he had known that 
his own letters were beginning to bear the fruit which he desired, 
and that they had made a conquest of one whom he must have 
known well at Paris, and who was soon to become one of the 
greatest supports of the Society in Europe. This was Jerome 
Nadal, whom Ignatius had in vain endeavoured to convert at 
Paris, where, using one of his many skilful devices to gain 
souls, he had led him aside one day, and read to him a letter 
which he had just written to his own nephew in Spain about 
renouncing the world, and providing for the salvation of his 
soul. Nadal saw his design, and producing a copy of the Gos- 
pel, which he carried with him, told Ignatius that he knew 
what to follow, but that as for him and his plans, he could 
not tell in what they would end. He went back to Majorca, 
his native island, and there lived for many years, well off 
and prosperous externally, but never feeling as if he were in 
his right place. Some holy souls with whom he was familiar 
taught him to give himself to prayer, and he had a design of 
collecting a little company of preachers, and devoting himself 
with them entirely to the good of souls. By chance, in the 
beginning of the year, a copy of one of Francis Xavier's let- 
ters from India was placed in his hand. It was that, if we 
may judge from the description^ given of it by the anecdote, 
in which Francis describes his method of proceeding with the 
Christians of the Fishery Coast, and which contains so many 
burning words about the need of labourers in the great harvest 

7 See Orlandini, Bist. Soc. Jesu, 1. v. c. 6. He says of the letter, 'ubi, post 
commemoratam ingentem inter Indos animorum messem, de confirmata Societate 
ab Apostolica Sede Franciscus plurimas Deo gratias agebat.' It may be remarked 
that Francis was aware of the confirmation of the Society before he left Portugal, 
but he could not have heard of the promulgation of the Bull until the first ar- 
rival of letteis in India after he had been some time there. 

^^8 St, Francis Xavier, 

which was so ripe to be gathered in in India.^ Towards the end 
of the letter there was a passage in which Francis spoke of the 
deHght which he felt in having at last heard of the solemn con- 
firmation of the Society by the Pope. Nadal had never heard 
of the confirmation ; indeed, he seems to have lost sight of 
Ignatius altogether. But the words of Francis Xavier brought 
back to his mind all that had passed at Paris, and how his 
confessor there had urged him to become one of the disciples 
of Ignatius. He went to Rome, and there, after a time, made 
the Exercises, in which he experienced the greatest possible 
difficulty in making up his mind, till at last the light broke in 
upon his soul, and he made a vow to enter the Society. 

We hear nothing more of the Fathers who were expected 
when Francis left India, having, as he supposed, wintered at 
Mozambique, of whom the King had written in such high terms. 
The three whose arrival was announced in the letters received 
by Francis at Malacca came to India in the company of the 
new Governor, Joam de Castro, whose voyage out was un- 
usually short. They arrived at the beginning of September, 
before Francis himself had reached Malacca. Either at this 
time, or by former letters, Francis had been appointed Su- 
perior of the Society in the East, and the letter in which he 
allots them their work is written in that capacity. But even as 
Superior he seems to prefer entreaty and request to the simple 
language of authority. 

(l.) To the Fathers Paul of Camerino, Joam Beira, 
and Antonio Criminate, 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

In a long letter that I sent you by the Commendatore9 I 
gave you detailed information that I was all ready to start on my 

^ See above, pp. 155, 156. 

8 This was the letter given above (p. 298) from Meliapor, The ' Commen- 
datore' must have been some officer who took the apphcation from Francis to 
the Governor of India for letters of introduction to the Commandant at Malacca. 

Francis at Malacca, 359 

voyage towards Macazar ; but we have had later news stating 
that affairs there are not in so good a state as we had thought, 
and so I have not gone there. I am now thinking of Amboyna, 
where there are already many Christians, and people say so 
much of the docility of the rest that the addition of great num- 
bers more seems very likely. I will write to you from thence 
what I shall see of the state of the country on the spot, how 
the natives are disposed towards the faith, and of the fruit we 
may reasonably expect from labours to be spent amongst them. 
The experience I have already gained of the state of Cape 
Comorin and Goa, and that which, by the Divine blessing, I 
shall acquire of Amboyna and the Moluccas, when I have seen 
them, will enable me to write to you in which of these regions 
it appears that your industry may best employ itself, so as to 
be most profitable for the greater service of God. 

For the present I beg of you two, my dearest Fathers Joam 
Beira and Antonio Criminale, as soon as you have read this 
letter, to get ready to go at once to Cape Comorin, where you 
will work with more usefulness to the service of God than at 
Goa, and you will take with you from Goa, if he is there, Fr. 
Francis Mancias ; for he knows the country perfectly, and you 
will understand from him in what way you must live and work 
there. It is my particular desire that, if this letter finds Father 
Mancias at Goa, you both of you, with him as a third, set out 
together for Cape Comorin. I beg you in the name of God 
not to do otherwise ; nor, whatever be the cause that stands in 
the way, let anything make you give up this journey, which is 
my positive wish, and I consider it as absolutely necessary. 
Father Nicolas Lancilotti will remain in the College of St. 
Paul, where he is to teach grammar, for which he has been 
sent from Portugal. As I am confident that in your great 
charity you will do what this letter prescribes and nothing else, 
I shall say no more on this point. 

Now, my dearest Father Paul of Camerino, I pray you very 
much, for the love you have for Jesus Christ, to watch with 
the greatest care over the interest and preservation of the Col- 
lege. Above everything, I commend to you over and over 

360 St Francis Xavier, 

again, to show prompt and perfect obedience to all those who 
have authority of any kind in it. Be sure that in no way can 
you do a thing more pleasant or sweeter to me than by entire 
obedience to them in all things. I declare, if I were myself 
where you are, I would do nothing, however small, contrary to 
or without the authority and pleasure of those who have the 
government of that holy College ; I should make a point of 
obeying them most diligently in all that they should command 
me. I desire and hope that God may be pleased to breathe 
His holy inspiration into the very inmost core of your soul, 
that you may be entirely convinced that you can by nothing 
make yourself more pleasing to Him, or do more for His ser- 
vice and glory, than by denying your own will out of love for 

Write me word, I entreat you, about all of our fathers and 
brothers, especially Fr. Francis Mancias, by the vessel which 
will soon be sailing from Goa for the Moluccas. I am sure 
you will do this at good length and diligently, and I am al- 
ready enjoying in hope and desire the pleasure which I shall 
have when I read the letter. I beg of you, my dearest bro- 
thers, to remember me constantly in your holy conversations 
with God and in your holy sacrifices. I feel peculiar need of 
this assistance from you, on account of the dangers I am about 
to incur, as I am going to sail to barbarous countries, infested 
by dangers of every kind. Simon Botelho, who is leaving this 
place for Goa, is very favourably disposed towards your holy 
house. He will give you a minute and full account of me and 
my affairs. He treats me as a great friend, and I have a great 
affection for him, for he is a truly good man, and one who sin- 
cerely loves God. I beg you to cultivate his friendship dili- 
gently. He has rendered me all the offices of a real friend, 
having sent me as a gift all that was necessary for the expenses 
and provision for the voyage I am undertaking, showing all 
the kindest possible proofs of m.ost exquisite charity. May 
God, Who has the power, reward him in my stead, for I really 
feel how much I owe him. 

May God our Lord, my dearest brothers in Jesus Christ, 

Francis at Malacca. 361 

bring us together in His holy glory, since in this life we have 
to live scattered in so many various places ! 

The least of your brothers in Jesus Christ, 


From Malacca, December i6th, 1545. 

The urgency with which Francis expresses his wish that 
the two Fathers from Portugal should proceed at once to the 
Fishery Coast must be explained by a fear which he may have 
had that efforts would be made to detain them at Goa. The 
letter is written in such terms as to enable them to plead that 
they had no choice in the matter left them by their Superior. 
The exhortation to Father Paul about obedience to the rulers 
of the College shows us that, in the very delicate position in 
which he was — for the College was not yet made over to the 
Society — he was often provoked to acts which might have 
embroiled him with the authorities. We shall hear more of 
this in the next letter to him. 


The Moluccas. 

St. Francis Xavier sailed from Malacca for the isles of the 
Eastern Archipelago on the ist of January 1546. His im- 
mediate destination was the island of Amboyna, though the 
ship in which he sailed was bound for the island of Banda, 
somewhat to the southeast of Amboyna, and further from 
Malacca. He was now entering upon one of the most ad- 
venturous periods of his missionary life, sailing away almost 
beyond the reach of communications from India or Europe; 
for on his return he wrote to his friends at Rome, that a letter 
to the Moluccas from thence could not be answered, under 
the most favourable circumstances, in less than three years 
and three quarters. He had with him none of the Society, 
unless we count Joam d'Eyro, who still accompanied him : 
but he found Portuguese merchants and even settlers in most 
places which he visited, and his principal stay was in islands 
under the Portuguese crown, where there would be garrisons, 
churches, and priests, though not in any great numbers. It 
is not wonderful that our accounts of his proceedings during 
the year and a half on which we are now entering should be 
comparatively meagre, and somewhat confused. He wrote, as 
we shall see, very few letters that remain to us before his re- 
turn to India in January 1548, and even the letters which have 
been preserved are written with all his usual reticence as to 
his own great conquests for religion, and are evidently, more- 
over, meant rather to give specimens of the work that could 
be done than a narrative of what had actually taken place. 
He gives indeed sufficient details and even notes of time to 

The Moluccas, 2>^2> 

enable us to set before ourselves a kind of outline of his la- 
bours : but it is an outline which makes us long very much for 
more explicit delineation from himself, while the facts con- 
cerning him, which rest on evidence from others which there 
is no reason to question, are just enough to reveal to us how 
immense his activity must have been, how ubiquitous he seems 
to have made himself, how unsparing of himself he was, how 
many dangers he braved, and the wonderful success which 
attended him. 

There is, as we have said, some uncertainty in the story 
when we try to arrange the facts which belong to this period 
of his life, and which are connected with the various places in 
that part of the Malay Archipelago which goes or went by the 
general name of the Moluccas.^ His own language leads us 
to suppose that he used the name in a large sense to designate 
a tract of ocean sprinkled over with islands, but that he also 
looked on one country^ as giving its name to the whole. Hap- 
pily, the picture which the combined accounts furnish us, of 
his method of dealing with the people in this remote part of 
the world and of the traits of his character in which we are 
most interested, is not affected by our inability to trace his 

1 We have already noticed that Francis Xavier speaks of Molucco (Molucum) 
as a single place, at the same time that he speaks of it as a region, and also men- 
tions the ' Molucca' islands. Strictly speaking, the Moluccas are the five islands 
which lie in a string from north to south along the western shores of the large 
island of Gilolo, to the east of Celebes. They are all small — Temate, Tidor, 
Motir, Macian, and Batchian. But in a more general sense a great number of 
islands, sorrie larger than these, are included in the Moluccas. Mr. Wallace 
allots them a space of ten degrees of latitude by eight of longitude, and they 
thus embrace the islands and groups between the Philippines and Timor, New 
Guinea and Celebes {Malay Archipelago, ii. 138). He counts among them Ce- 
rama and Bouro, as well as Gilolo, three very considerable islands. In the letters 
of St. Francis we shall find distances given, as to which we cannot depend on 
the accuracy of the copyists or translators, who had never been in that part of 
the world or seen a good map. He seems by Molucco, when used as the name 
of a single island, to mean Ternate : but Temate is in sight of Gilolo, which 
some writers identify with the ' island of the Moors, ' 'of which we shall hear so 
much ; which, however, St. Francis is made to place at the distance of sixty 
leagues from ' Molucco.' We discuss elsewhere where this island— or islands — 
should be looked for. 

2 He uses the words in continenti. 

364 St. Francis Xavier, 

footsteps everywhere, and give an exact account of each week 
of his time. As to this last point, we have enough from him- 
self to mark the chief divisions of the period, and we must be 
content to follow former writers on the subject in placing the 
details which he does not mention where they most conveni- 
ently adapt themselves to those chief divisions. Francis Xavier 
never afterwards spent any time in the Moluccas, though he 
must have passed near them on his voyages to and from Japan 
and to the coast of China. When the evidence as to his ac- 
tipns came to be collected and his life to be written, on the 
testimony of persons who had been his companions or with 
whom he had met in the Moluccas, a number of beautiful anec- 
dotes came to light, which relate to places which he had him- 
self never mentioned, and works of charity or of preternatural 
power over which, as usual, his humility had drawn the veil of 

The history of Christianity in the Moluccas had hitherto 
been chequered by the action of the same conflicting causes 
which we have seen at work in India. Not many years before 
the arrival of Francis Xavier at Amboyna there had been a 
great movement towards the faith, and two kings in particular, 
one in the island * of the Moor' (as to the exact site of which 
there must remain some doubt), and another in Ternate, had 
become Christians. The avarice, tyranny, and licentiousness 
of the Portuguese, added to their quarrels among themselves, 
had led to a general league against them and a massacre 
known as the Molucensian Vespers. Affairs had been in some 
measure restored, and religion greatly promoted, under the 
governorship of Antonio Galvan, one of those admirable men 
who occur from time to time in the history of Portuguese Asia ; 
but a petition sent to King John III. by the native princes and 
people, to continue him in his authority as long as he lived, 
had not reached Lisbon till long after his successor had arrived, 
and affairs had fallen back into their former state, to the great 
detriment of religion. The history is too long to be related 
here, but what has been said may suffice to explain more than 
one passage in the letters of Francis Xavier. 

The Moluccas, 2>^^ 

The vessel in which he sailed from Malacca had a crew 
made up of Lascars and other heathens, many of them different 
in race and language one from another. The voyage lasted 
six weeks, and Francis found occupation enough for his charity 
and zeal in preaching to and instructing these wild mariners. 
The evidence of the Processes proves to us that on this occa- 
sion he had ' the gift of tongues' in the form in which it was 
imparted to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, that is, that 
men of different languages understood him at the same time, 
each in their own dialect, and this miracle went far to make 
them docile to his teaching. He found Amboyna, as to Chris- 
tianity, in the state which might have been expected from the 
.history to which we have alluded. There were seven villages 
of native Christians, but the priest who had been their pastor 
had died or had been killed at the time of the general rising 
against the Portuguese, and the Christian natives were ex- 
tremely ignorant, as well as strongly prejudiced against the 
Portuguese. They were also exposed to the depredations of 
the fierce islanders of the ' Moro' to the north, as well as to 
persecution from the Mussulmans in Amboyna itself. St. 
Francis was much touched, as we see by his letter, by the 
number of children whom he found unbaptized, and who died 
soon after they had been made heirs of the kingdom of heaven. 
He catechized the other children and the adults, and carried 
out as far as was practicable the method which we have seen 
him use in India and at Malacca. We are also told that he 
converted a number of heathens, and founded many churches 
on the island. 

A great part of his time, however, was taken up by some 
unexpected visitors from Europe. The first voyage round the 
world had been made some years before by Magellan, who 
had sailed round South America for the express purpose of 
reaching the Moluccas from the western side, and of claiming 
them for the crown of Spain. He was then in the service of 
Charles V. The Moluccas were supposed to lie just on the 
line which separated the new part of the world allotted to 
Spain from that which was to belong to Portugal, and, in fact, 

^66 St. Francis Xavier, 

the Philippines lie almost in the same longitude. Charles V. 
ultimately made over all his rights to them to Portugal, and 
thus the dispute was settled. ^ But other expeditions from * New- 
Spain' seem to have followed in the track of Magellan; and 
when Francis Xavier was at Amboyna, a fleet with Spaniards 
on board touched at the island, and remained for more than 
two months. 

These Spaniards had been for some years in the Moluccas, 
endeavouring to establish themselves, now in one island, now 
in another, and claiming them as ' the possession of Castile,' 
notwithstanding the treaties. The Portuguese Commandant 
at Ternate had had considerable trouble with them. In 1544, 
Giordano de Freytas had made a truce with their commander, 
Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, for eight months, that he might get 
instructions from Goa. Discord broke out among the Spaniards, 
and many of them deserted to the Portuguese. In the course 
of the next year, 1545, Fernando de Sousa y Tavora, a Portu- 
guese captain, was sent against them, and forced Villalobos and 
his men to come to term.s. They were to be provided with all 
necessaries at Ternate until they could be conveyed to India, 
where they might either remain in the Portuguese service, or 
be sent to Spain, as they wished. This is the meaning of 
the Spanish fleet commanded by a Portuguese officer. Villa- 
lobos himself had died at Ternate. Fernando de Sousa y 
Tavora was conducting his dangerous captives — if such they 

3 Magellan sailed in 1519, and lost his life in one of the Philippine Isles, 
which he had discovered, in 1521. The first arrangement as to the discoveries 
in the New World had been made by Pope Alexander VI. who, in 1493, had 
decreed that a hne should be drawn a hundred leagues west of the Azores. 
Portugal was to have all to the east, Castile and Aragon all to the west of that 
line. This did not satisfy John II. of Portugal, who thought the line too near 
the Azores ; and by the treaty of Tordesillas, made in the next year, 1494, the 
line was removed two hundred and seventy leagues further west. Under this 
line the Portuguese claimed Brazil, when it was discovered. At the same time 
the Portuguese were limited eastwards by a line to be drawn one hundred and 
thirty-two degrees east of Paris, from north to south. It was supposed that the 
Moluccas were outside this line, but it just includes them. They were discovered 
in 1511. In ,1529, as is said above, Charles V, sold all his claims on the Moluc- 
cas to Portugal for 370,000 gold ducats. 

The Moluccas, 2>^y 

could be called — out of the region of the Moluccas, where 
they had been, and might still be, so mischievous. There 
were also two Portuguese vessels in port at the same time, 
and a contagious disease broke out among the crews of the 
fleets, which gave Francis a fresh occasion for the exercise 
of his fearless and indefatigable charity, while it at the same 
time disposed the mariners and soldiers to listen to his preach- 
ing. He devoted himself to hearing confessions, preaching, 
ministering to the sick, and reconciling persons at enmity — an 
office of charity of which we hear a good deal while he was 
among the Portuguese. Great fruits resulted from his exer- 
tions, and not the least of them was the extreme kindness and 
benevolence shown by the Portuguese merchants to the Spani- 
ards in their distress, as they could hardly help looking upon 
them as intruders, who had already caused some trouble, and 
might hereafter cause more.^ 

This chance visit of the Spaniards gave Francis Xavier an 
occasion of gaining a very important recruit for the Society and 
for the heathen missions, to which his own heart was devoted. 
This was a priest of Valentia, Cosmo Torres, who had for 
many years felt a strong inward call to perfection, which he 
had never hitherto seen the way to fulfil. The first sight of Francis 
Xavier, his evident sanctity, and his extreme humility and 
charity, conquered him at once. He would have stayed with 

* One of the anecdotes of this time might be used in a commentary on the 
text which tells us that ' God loves a cheerful giver,' A rich Portuguese mer- 
chant, Joam d'Arahujo, w^as frequently asked by St. Francis for wine for the 
sick. He always gave it, but with a certain difficulty. One day St. Francis 
sent another person to ask for him. Arahujo gave him the bottle, and told him 
not to come again ; the wine he had, he wanted for himself. When Francis 
was told of the answer, his face kindled with zeal, and he said, ' Does Arahujo 
think that he will enjoy the wine he denies to Christ ? He will die before he 
has consumed it, and this land of Amboyna is the last that he will see.* He 
warned Arahujo himself afterwards to prepare himself, for he had not long to 
live. Soon afterwards, Francis left Amboyna, and one day at Ternate, while 
he was saying mass, he begged the people to pray for Arahujo, who was just 
then dead at Amboyna. It turned out that the merchant had died at that very 
time. Joam d'Eyro, who had been left at Amboyna, wrote to Ternate to an- 
nounce it, as well as another, named Carvaljo, who was present when Ara- 
hujo died. 

368 »S/. Francis Xavier. 

him at Amboyna, as it appears, but he was either bound in 
some way to the Bishop of Goa, or at least was obliged to go 
and ask his leave to labour as a missionary. He went to 
Goa with the fleet, and there remained for a time working as a 
parish priest; but he soon made the Exercises and entered 
the Society. His name became very famous as a second father 
to the rising Church of Japan after the death of Francis. 

It is evident, from the following letters, that Francis Xavier 
found great promise of success for apostolical labours in the 
Moluccas during these few months at Amboyna. He arrived 
in the island in the middle of February, and in May he is al- 
ready writing for some of the Fathers to join him. We shall 
add to the letters written from Amboyna at this time others 
which give a general account, as far as we have it from him- 
self, of his labours in the Moluccas. 

(li.) To the Society at Goa, 

May the grace and charity of Jesus Christ our Lord be 
with us ever ! Amen. 

On the I St of January 1546 we sailed from Malacca for 
the Moluccas. We landed at Amboyna on the 14th of Fe- 
bruary. This island is about ninety miles in circumference ; 
it is well peopled with natives and foreigners. It contains six 
Christian towns or villages, which I visited one after another 
as soon as I landed, and where I baptized a great number of 
infants and children. Soon after, the fleet under the command 
of Fernando de Sousa touched at Amboyna, with Spaniards on 
board, who had come from New Spain to the Moluccas. The 
great number of vessels caused such a confluence of spiritual oc- 
cupations, as it was necessary to hear confessions, to preach in 
public, to wait on the sick, and assist the dying, that time did 
not permit me to satisfy all duties. I have been able to form 
some idea of the character and disposition of the inhabitants, 
and I have come to hope that as soon as the lord of the island 
returns — he is a Portuguese of high rank, very devoted to 
religion, and now in command of the royal garrison at Mo- 

The M luccas, ' 369 

lucco — I hope, I say, when he returns, that we shall gather 
in here abundant fruit of souls. 

About four hundred miles from Amboyna is a country called 
the Land of the Moor, where maL)? Christians are living in 
entire ignorance of the Christian law and worship. I am going 
to this country, in order to provide for the salvation of so many 
souls. I am persuaded that I ought, even at the peril of my 
life, to snatch their souls from destruction. I am resolved to 
meet any risk of death, even clear and plain, for I have placed 
all my hopes in Divine Providence, and I wish to obey those 
words of the Gospel, ' He that will save his life shall lose it, 
and he that shall lose his life for My sake shall find it.'^ And 
believe me, my dearest brothers, that although the words of this 
sentence are in general very easy to understand, yet when the 
time comes when you have to make up your mind that you 
must lose your life for God, and incur the danger of death, 
then that saying, clear as light though it be, becomes so very 
obscure, that he alone can understand it to whom God, in His 
goodness, makes it plain. At such times indeed it is that one 
sees quite clearly how weak and frail human nature is. May 
God therefore, in His measureless mercy, so confirm and 
strengthen us in such dangers, and at such times, by His own 
might, that we may bravely undertake such risks and bear 
them to the end ; and may He also remain with us always ! 

From Amboyna, May 8th, 1546. 

(lii.) To Father Paul of Camerino, 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ be 
with us always ! Amen 

O my Paul ! what 1 hdve so often entreated of you when I 
was with you, and have so often also begged of you by letter, 
that same thing I now most earnestly ask and pray, — that in 

5 Matt. xvi. 25. Qui voluerit animam suam salvam facer e, ferdet earn, 
qui autem perdiderit afiimam suarn propter Me, inveniet earn. (Orig.) 
VOL. I. B B 

T^yo St, Francis Xavier, 

all the affairs of the College you obey sedulously the Superiors. 
If I were in your place, I should have nothing more at heart 
than to do all they wished. I want you to believe me, and 
be convinced, that nothing is so safe, nothing so secures us 
from going wrong, as to desire to be always ruled by others, 
and to obey their commands from the heart. On the other 
hand, it is a perilous and hazardous thing to live as one's own 
master, casting off the authority of superiors. For even if you 
do a thing rightly when you depart from what is prescribed 
you, yet be sure, dearest brother, that there is more bad than 
good in it after all. You will therefore accurately obey in all 
things Father Diego de Borba, whose will agrees with the will 
of God, and be altogether under his power. If you will do this, 
you will do a thing pleasing not only to me, but also to God. 

Send me two of our fathers who are now at Cape Comorin, 
particularly Joam Beira, and in their place substitute two of 
those who are lately arrived from Portugal. And I beseech 
those who are to be sent hither, that as, considering the mul- 
titude of stations and the magnitude of matters we have to 
attend to, we of the Society are too few, they make an effort 
to bring with them some men not of ours, who may serve and 
help us in teaching the Christian law and religious instruction 
to the villages in these islands. If they are not priests, at 
least let them be persons who have had rough handling from the 
world, the flesh, and the devil, and who desire to punish in 
themselves their own injuries and those of God. They must 
bring with them the sacred vessels and vestments for the holy 
sacrifice. But the chalices should be of tin; they will be safer 
than chalices of silver a geiite non sa?icta — I mean the heathen 
among whom we are always living. 

Some Spanish friars of St. Augustin are going from Am- 
boyna to Goa ; you may learn from them anything about me 
that you wish to know. I earnestly commend them to you, 
and beg you to help them in any way you can, showing them 
the highest marks of kindness and goodwill. They are excel- 
lent religious and very holy men. I am setting out for the 
Land of the Moor. May God abide with you ; may He go 

The Moluccas, ^yx 

with me, and, after this life, may He be pleased to transfer our 
souls to His own kingdom, where we shall attain and enjoy a 
great deal more peace and bliss than here ! 

From Amboyna, May loth, 1546. 

P.S. — Send the enclosed letter to our brothers at Comorin 
immediately, that they may have time to reach Goa, and sail 
for the Moluccas at the beginning of April next year. 

(liii.) To the Fathers of the Society at Comorin^ 
Antonio Criminale and Joam Beira, 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ be ever 
with us ! Amen. 

Last year, when I was at Malacca, I wrote you two letters 
to the same purpose, begging in the name of God you two, Joam 
Beira and Antonio Criminale, to set out without delay for 
Cape Comorin. I thought it well that you should go there 
to instruct and nourish those poor neophytes with Father 
Francis Mancias, whom I had left amongst these Christians 
with Joam de Lizana and, three other native priests. And to 
make your act more meritorious, I commanded it formally in 
the name of your love of obedience. I doubt not that this 
letter reached you, and that you acted in obedience to it. I 
left Malacca on my way to Molucco the ist of January, and 
on the 1 6th of February I landed on the island of Amboyna. 
I immediately went through all the Christian villages of the 
isle, and baptized all the newborn infants. About that time, 
D. Fernando de Sousa, with a fleet of Spaniards who had come 
from New Spain to the Moluccas, arrived at Amboyna. There 
were eight vessels, which gave me more occupation than I can 
describe. I had to be always hearing conlessions, preaching 
on the Sundays, to bring many persons to make peace one 
with another, to visit and console the sick, and to assist and 
encourage the dying, so that I had no time free either during 
Lent or after it. I also got to know the disposition ot the 

'T^^i St, Francis Xavier. 

natives ; and I hope, with the help of God, that when Giordano 
de Freytas, Governor of Molucca, and Sovereign Lord of Am- 
boyna — a man very zealous for the propagation of religion — 
comes to fix his residence and home here, which is likely to 
be in less than a year from next November 1546, all the in- 
habitants will follow the faith of Jesus Christ. The island is 
about ninety miles in circumference. It contains a number of 
villages, of which seven are Christian. About four hundred 
miles from Amboyna, there is a country called ' of the Moor,'^ 
where I am told there are a great number of Christians, but 
all utterly ignorant of the truths of religion. I am to go there 
very soon. 

I am anxious that you should know this, that you may 
understand how much your work is needed in these countries. 
And though I am not ignorant that where you are you are not 
idle, yet as you are absolutely necessary here, I beg of you, 
in the name of Jesus Christ, you, Francis Mancias and Joam 
Beira, to come hither as soon as possible, and that this voyage 
may give you an opportunity of greater obedience and merit, 
I formally command it. If, by chance, either of you shall have 
quitted this mortal life, let another take his place at the choice 
of Father Antonio Criminale ; but so that, in any case, one of 
you three remain with the native priests among the Christians 
of Comorin. If any of the Society arrive this year from Por- 
tugal to help our work, I entreat them, in the name of God, to 
proceed to Cape Comorin to instruct the Christians there. If 
there be any news from Portugal, write it to me, and give the 
letters from Portugal in charge to the Fathers who are to come 
hither. And that the new Fathers from Portugal may have 
greater merit by obedience, I command them, in virtue of my 
authority as Superior, to go to Cape Comorin. 

And — as I perceive that this letter will hardly reach you 
before the beginning of March next year — one of the King's 
vessels will be going in May from Goa to the Moluccas, on 
board of which will be the King of Molucco, who some time 

^ Regio est in continenti. It does not seem to have been clear then whether 
it was an island or a continent.' 

T^he Moluccas, 373 

ago was taken away as a prisoner ; I wish you to come by that 
vessel. So as soon as you have read this letter, go at once 
from Cape Comorin back to Goa, and prepare yourselves, as I 
have said, to sail to Molucco. The people are hoping that 
the same vessel will bring their prince, whom they are always 
expecting. The Portuguese also think that the new Com- 
mandant of Molucco will be on board that vessel. If the King, 
of whom I speak, has received baptism at Goa, I have great 
hopes that a large number of his subjects will become Chris- 
tians. But even if he should not have become a Christian, you 
may slill render very great service here. Each of you should 
bring all that is necessary for the holy sacrifice ; but let the 
chalices be in tin, in order to preserve them more easily from 
the greedy hands of the unholy race^ among whom you will 
have to "ive. And now, as you are members of the Society of 
Jesus, and I have full confidence that you will execute all that I 
have asked you in the name of Jesus Christ, and that, for your 
love of obedience, I have commanded you, I shall add no 
more, except that you come without delay ; for I am anxiously 
looking forward to your arrival. I feel sure that your coming, 
by the grace of God, will be well timed in itself, acceptable to 
Jesus Chris', and salutary to the people. I beg of you, my 
brothers, to bring with you some of the seminarists from Goa, 
who are prie&ts, that they may be able to help you in teaching 
the Christian doctrine to these islands. Anyhow, let each one 
of you bring with him one companion at least, and if they are 
not priests or clerics, let them be at all events enemies of the 
world, the flesl, and the devil, and determined to have ven- 
geance for the ir.juries they have received from them. May God, 
of His goodness bring us together in this life in His service, 
and, in the next, in His kingdom, where far greater rest and 
joy await us than we can have here. 


From Amboyna, Miy loth, 1546. 

"^ a gente noti sancta. (Orig.] 

374 St. Francis Xavier, 

(liv.) To the Society at Rome, 

May the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

I wrote to you a year ago that two princes in the island of 
Macazar and a great number of their subjects had been led to 
the Christian religion. I thought this would be an opportunity 
for advancing the. Gospel far and wide, and felt invited by- the 
occasion of doing a good work for God ; so I set out a! once 
from Cape Comorin to go to Macazar as soon as I could. Ma- 
cazar is more than two thousand seven hundred miles from 
Cape Comorin. Before embarking, I took diligent care that 
the Christians of Comorin should not be left without any- 
thing that was wanted for the rites of religion, and the cul- 
tivation of piety. I set over them five priests — Francis 
Mancias of the Society, three native priests, and /Juan Li- 
zana, a Spaniard by birth.^ The Christian inhabitants of the 
island of Ceylon, at no great distance from Cape Comorin, are 
well instructed by two Franciscans and two secular priests. 
These two churches consequently had no need of /ny labours ] 
and the other Christians, who reside in Portuguese settlements, 
are taught by the vicars of the Bishop of Goa. Seeing, then, 
that my work was not necessary in India, I went to Meliapor, 
which now bears the name of St. Thomas, in orc/er to go from 
thence to Malacca. I there met with a merchantywho entreated 
me to hear his confession. After having made/his confession 
duly, he was so strongly moved by Divine grace, that the next 
day he distributed to the poor the sum he got by the sale of 
his merchandize and his ship, and following Ch/ist in His naked 
poverty, he joined himself to me as my companion. 

Sailing from Meliapor, we came to Malacca, a much fre- 
quented city, belonging to the King of Por/ugal. There the 
Commandant told me that he had lately sent to Macazar a 
priest of great piety, with a considerable nuinber of Portuguese, 
who were to protect the new Christians h case any trouble 
8 The text says Francis Lizana, but it seeps a mistake. 

The Moluccas, 2>7S 

should arise. So he told me to remain at Malacca till the ship 
which had taken them should return and bring news how 
things were. I followed the advice of the Commandant, and 
remained more than three months at Malacca. During this 
time there was no lack of opportunity for gaining merit. On 
feast days and Sundays I preached to the people in the chief 
chirch ; the rest of the time I spent generally in hearing the 
cor.fessions of the sick in the hospital where I lived, and re- 
lieving their miseries. I instructed new converts, and espe- 
cially the children, in the elements of Christian doctrine ; and 
I brought about reconcilia.tions among the soldiers and the 
inhabitants, who had quarrels and feuds one with another. 
Every day after sunset I went about the city ringing a bell, to 
warn the inhabitants to wake up and pray for the mercy of 
God on the souls in Purgatory. A crowd of children from 
the catechetical school used to follow me as I repeated this 
call, and made a great stir in the city. 

Wher I saw that the winds which would have been favour- 
able to ships returning from Macazar had ceased to blow, and 
that nothing was to be heard of the priest and soldiers who 
had been sent there, I thought I ought not to wait any longer, 
and quitting Malacca I sailed for the Moluccas. The King of 
Portugal possesses a fort in the Moluccas called Ternate, in the 
most distant part of the Indies. About two hundred miles from 
this place, nearer to India, is Amboyna, an island about ninety- 
four miles round, with a large population, not only of natives, 
but of foreigners. The King of Portugal has given this island 
to a Portuguese nobleman illustrious by his virtue and piety, 
who, it is said, is intending in less than two years to settle there 
with his wife, his children, and all his household. Here there 
are altogether seven towns of Christians, all of which I went 
through and baptized all the newborn infants and the children 
not yet baptized. A great many of them died soon after their 
baptism, so that it was clear enough that their life had only 
been preserved by God until the entrance to eternal life should 
be opened to them. About the same time some Spaniards in eight 
ships camie to the island, and remained about three months. All 

'^'jG St. Francis Xavien 

that time how I was distracted with occupations I can hardly 
tell you. I stirred all the crews up to a regular and virtuous 
life by sermons ; I heard their confessions, I visited their sick, 
and encouraged them at the hour of death to leave this world 
with resignation and confidence in God ; a very difficult thiiig 
for those who have been by no means obedient to His divi/ie 
laws. The more daringly they have rolled in all sin and criihe, 
the less hope and confidence in the mercy of God have ttiey 
when they die. A good many also who w^re carrying on^eri- 
ous feuds with one another — a fault very widely spread asiong 
soldiers — were, with the help of God, brought to make reace. 
The fleet sailed from Amboyna for India, and I with mr com- 
panion, Joam d'Eyro, of whom I have spoken to you, s/iled in 
the opposite direction to the Moluccas. / 

Nearly two hundred miles beyond Molucco th^re is a 
region which is called ' Maurica.' Here, many years ag^, a great 
number of the inhabitants became Christians, but having been 
totally neglected and left, as it were, orphans by thd death of 
the priests who taught them, they have returned to their former 
barbarous and savage state. It is in every way a land full of perils, 
and especially to be dreaded by strangers on account of the 
great ferocity of the natives and the many kinds of poison which 
it is there common to give in what is eaten and drunk. The 
fear of this has deterred priests from abroad from going there to 
help the islanders. I have considered in what great necessity 
they are, with no one to instruct them or give them the sac- 
raments, and I have come to think that I ought to provide for 
their salvation even at the risk of my life. I have resolved to 
go thither as soon as possible, and to offer my life to the risk. 
Truly, I have put all my confidence in God, and I wish as much 
as is in me to obey the precept of our Lord Jesus Christ : * He 
that will save his life shall lose it ; and he that, shall lose his 
life for My sake shall find it.'^ Words easy in thought, but not 
easy in practice. When the hour is come when life must be 
lost that you may find it in God ; when danger of death is 

^ Matt. xvi. 25. Qui voluerit animam suam salvam facer e, perdet earn, qui 
auiem pe?-diderit animam suam p-opter Me, inveniet earn. (Orig.) 

The Moluccas. 2>'77 

on you, and you see plainly that to obey God you must sacrifice 
life, then, I know not how, it comes to pass, that what before 
seemed a very clear precept is involved in incredible darkness. 
Not even the most learned men attain to the full force of these 
wonderful words, but those only whom God, the Teacher Who 
speaks to the soul, enlightens by a special favour. It is in 
such matters that we see clearly how great after all our weak- 
ness is, how frail and unstable is our human nature here. 
Many friends of mine prayed me earnestly not to go amongst 
so barbarous a people. But afterwards, when they saw that 
they gained nothing by prayers or tears, they brought me each 
what he thought the best possible antidote against poison of 
all sorts; but I have unrelentingly sent them all back, lest 
after burthening myself with m.edicines, I should have another 
burthen which I was before without, that of fear. I had put all 
my hope in the protection of Divine Providence, and I thought 
I ought to be on my guard, lest relying on human aid I should 
lose anything of my confidence in God. So I thanked them 
all, and earnestly entreated them to pray to God for me, for 
that no more certain remedy than that could possibly be found. 
But I must return to my voyage to the Moluccas. We had 
a very bad time qf it ; many dangers from pirates, many more 
from tempests. The greatest of our perils was this, that we 
were in a very large vessel, and she was driven by the violence 
of a storm upon some shallows, and for three miles she went on 
with the bottom of the rudder perpetually grazing the sand. So 
that if she had come across any hidden rocks, or, what we were 
perpetually fearing, if the shallows had got still more shallow, we 
should certainly have been shipwrecked and she would have 
perished. I saw a great deal of weeping there, and a great 
deal of trouble and anxiety, for all were in expectation of mo- 
mentary death. But God did not desire to destroy us, but 
rather to instruct us by the danger we ran, so that we might 
understand how poor our strength is when we have only our 
own forces or human protection to lean upon. For when you 
have found out how empty your hopes are, and, altogether ceas- 
ing to trust to human power, have placed all your hope on the 

^yS St. Francis Xavier, 

Lord of all, Who alone can easily defend you from any danger 
which you have come under for His sake, then indeed you will 
know by experience how God governs all things by His will 
and word, and that danger to life, however great, is to be de- 
spised in comparison with the heavenly joys which on such 
occasions and at such times it is His wont to impart. Not 
even death itself is any -matter of fear to those who enjoy this 
divine sweetness. For although somehow it seems to be that 
when we have escaped dangers we can find no words to ex- 
press how great they were, nevertheless there remains unfaded 
the extremely sweet memory of the benefit which God has be- 
stowed. And this recollection is day and night a spur to us 
either to undertake willingly or to bear bravely to the end 
other toils for that best of masters, and makes us also have a 
very great veneration and love for Him all our life long, hoping 
that in His infinite goodness He will add to us always fresh 
courage and strength to work diligently and constantly for so 
good and kind a Lord. 

When I was at Malacca, I fell in with a Portuguese mer- 
chant, lately come from the very rich kingdom of China. He 
told me that he had been asked by a Chinese — a good and 
honourable man, who had been a good deal in the city where 
the king dwells — whether Christians ate swine's flesh? and that 
he answered that Christians had no objection to swine's flesh, 
but that he should like to know why on earth he asked him 
such a question. Then the Chinaman said that there was a 
nation in the middle of China, shut in by mountains, whose 
manners and laws were very different indeed from those of the 
Chinese, and that this nation altogether abstained from swine's 
flesh, and, besides, kept many festival days in a very solemn 
manner. When the merchant told me this, I could not make 
a satisfactory conjecture whether these might be some of the 
Christians who unite the rites of the Hebrew law with the re- 
ligion of Christ, as we know that the Ethiopians who live on 
the shores of the Red Sea do, or whether they were Jews, some 
of whom are scattered over all the world. I hear that all are 
agreed that they are not Mussulmans. 

The Moluccas. 379 

A great many merchants go from Malacca to China every 
year. I have charged many of them to find out with diligence 
what are the manners and rites and laws and institutions of this 
nation I speak of, so that by means of these marks I may find 
out what it is, and settle the question whether they are Jews 
or Christians. There are many who say that the Apostle St. 
Thomas penetrated as far as China, and that he made a great 
many Christians among that people. For before the Portuguese 
conquered India, the Greek Church used to send bishops 
there to take care of the Christians who were converted by St. 
Thomas and his disciples ; and when the Portuguese first be- 
gan to get possession of India, one of these Greek bishops of 
whom I speak is said to have afiirmed, that he knew from other 
bishops whom he had found in India that St. Thomas had 
entered China, had gone through the cities, publishing the 
Gospel, and had converted many of the natives to Christ. As 
soon as I know anything certain, whether from what others find 
out, or from what I discover myself, I will let you 

Before I left Malacca, I heard that three of our Society had 
arrived at Goa, who wrote to me, and had my letters from Rome 
sent to me with theirs. AVhen I read those letters, O, how I 
triumphed with joy at hearing about the affairs of the Society, 
just the things which I desired the most ! As one of these three 
had come to be a master of grammar in the College of Santa 
Fe, and the other two to be employed wherever it seemed to 
me that they could be of the most use to religion, I wrote to 
them at once to leave the master at Goa, and that the others 
should go to Cape Comorin, and there join Francis Mancias 
in instructing the new converts. Now I have changed my 
mind, and am ordering them to come next year to the Moluc- 
cas, for I see in these parts a much greater opportunity of 
spreading the Christian religion. 

Molucco is a region of small and almost numberless dis- 
tinct islands, and it is not yet certain whether any part of it 
belongs to a continent. Generally, all the islands have many 
villages of inhabitants. The inhabitants would easily become 

i<> This nation must have been the Jewish colony of Khai-Fong-Fou. 

380 St, Francis Xavier, 

Christians, but for the want of people to preach to them. If 
we had somewhere here a house of the Society, the majority 
would be Christians. So I have made up my mind to bring 
it about that in these extreme parts of the world there should 
be a house somehow or other planted for our use : for I can 
already see in prospect how many nations that step would 
bring into the fold of Christ.^ 

In this island of Amboyna the heathen are far more numer- 
ous than the Mussulmans, and there is a bitter hatred between 
the two ; for the Mussulmans compel the natives either to be- 
come Mahometans or to be their slaves, and the heathen, 
hating even the name of Mahomet more than the yoke of 
slavery, repudiate altogether the superstition of the Mussul- 
mans. If there were people here to teach them the true reli- 
gion, they would join the fold of Christ without much difficulty, 
for they have much less objection to the name of Christ than 
to that of Mahomet. It is about seventy years since the plague 
of Mahometanism invaded this island : before that time all 
the inhabitants were heathen. The evil was introduced by 
some Mahometan cacizes (ministers of religion), who came from 
Mecca in Arabia, where the accursed body of Mahomet is 
honoured with great superstition, and drew a large multitude 
of people to their own sect. The native Mussulmans are alto- 
gether ignorant, and know nothing of the pestilential doctrine 
which they profess to follow, so that I am led to hope that they 
may be easily converted from the Mahometan religion. 

I write all this to you at so much length that you may share 
my solicitude, and conceive, as is only right, an immense sor- 
row at the miserable loss of so many souls who are perishing 
daily, utterly destitute of aid. And those who desire to help 
them, don't let them delay ; for even if they are not very well 
furnished with learning and other gifts, they will be quite fit for 
the work of which I speak, if they have made up their minds 
to come hither for the sake of Christ alone, to live with the 
people here, and breathe out their last in earnestly carrying 
out this resolution. If only a dozen would come out every 
year, so disposed, there would be an end altogether of this sect 

The Moluccas, 381 

of Mahomet, and all would shortly be Christians. And what 
would result from this would be, that the majesty of God would 
not be insulted by so many atrocious and impious sins as is 
now the case at the hands of this nation, because they are ig- 
norant of the true religion. For the inhabitants of this island 
are for the most part savage and barbarous men, remarkable 
for perfidy and wonderfully ungrateful. 

There are also some islands in this part of the ocean the 
people of which eat human flesh, especially the flesh of their 
enemies who have been killed in battle. If any one of their 
own people dies by disease, they do not touch the rest of the 
body, but they cut off the hands and feet, and consider them 
great delicacies. And if we are to believe what is reported of 
them, they have even got to that excess of savagery, that when 
any one is preparing a specially elegant banquet, he asks his 
neighbour to give him his aged father, whom he kills and serves 
up to his neighbours to feast upon, and this request he makes 
on the understanding that he in turn promises to do the same 
for the man from whom he asks the boon, if ever he should 
wish to give a similar entertainment. And so great and so 
barbarous are the lusts to which they are subject, that they 
take up with all kinds of impurity. Within a month's time I 
intend to go to an island where, besides other unheard of 
crimes, each of the enormities I have mentioned is commonly 
committed, that is, they both eat the dead slain in battle and 
also give up their aged parents to one another to be banqueted 
on. The reason why I go there is that I understand they are 
willing to be converted from all their detestable wickedness to 
Christian piety. 

The islands have a wonderful climate; they are full of 
large and dense trees, and have frequent rains to water them. 
They are defended on every side by steep rocks, and are so 
lofty and high that their inhabitants have no need of fortifica- 
tions to repel hostile attacks. When war comes on, they think 
themselves quite safe enough if they can betake themselves 
to these rocks, the paths among which are so steep and so 
blocked up with stones that they never use horses, nor can use 

3S2 Sf, Francis Xavier. 

them. Moreover, there are frequent earthquakes among them, 
so great that mariners sailing by think that their ships have 
met with rocks. There is at the same time such a rumbHng 
in the ground, that every one is frightened beyond all belief. 
Many of the islands send up fire to a great distance, and the 
flames burst out with a crash greater than that made by any 
brass gun, however large, when firing at full charge. Immense 
stones are sometimes cast up by the force and impetus of the 
fire. It would seem that as these men have no one to warn 
them about the punishment of the wicked, God has been 
pleased as it were to open to them the abode of hell, and give 
them some pictures of the fires in which sinners are to be for 
ever tormented, so that they may be admonished by that 
awful sight, and come to understand what punishments will 
await them unless they abandon their abominable vices and 

All these islands differ among themselves in language, and 
indeed in some of them the inhabitants do not all use the 
same, but different villages have different dialects. However, 
all understand the Malay language, on account of the com- 
merce. For this reason, when I was at Malacca I had the 
Creed, with an appropriate explanation, the form of general 
confession, the Lord's Prayer, the /fat/ Mary, and the ten 
commandments translated into the Malay tongue, that when 
I spoke to them about Divine truths they might better under- 
stand what I said. They have no literary monuments, and 
commonly do not know how to read or write ; some few write 
in Malay words and Arabic letters. This is because the 
teachers of the Mahometan superstition, called Cacizes or Al- 
faquis, have lately taught, and are still teaching, some of the 
natives how to write. Before Mahometanism was introduced, 
there was absolutely no writing or reading among the natives. 

In the island of Amboyna I have seen what no one would 
believe, and what has been unheard of till now ; so perhaps it 
will be worth while to tell you. I saw a he-goat giving suck 
to his young kids with his own milk ; he had one breast, which 
gave every day as much milk as would fill a basin. I saw i 

The Moluccas. 383 

with my own eyes — for I would not believe it without seeing 
it. A respectable Portuguese has the goat, and is taking it 
away, meaning to carry it to Portugal. 

But now to return to my intended voyage : I beseech you, 
my dearest fathers and brothers, by Jesus Christ the Lord of 
all things, by His most holy Mother, and the Saints of heaven 
who are in eternal glory, I pray and beg of you to remember 
me, and to pray God continually and most earnestly to be mer- 
ciful to me. You see in how great need I am of protection. 
And I have often known that, in many dangers of soul and 
body, your prayers have been my saving. For my part, that 
I may not forget you, I carry about with me all your names, 
as they are written by your own hands as signatures to your 
letters to me, together with my solemn form of profession ; 
and for the wonderful pleasure which I receive from that most 
delightful remembrance I give thanks first of all, as is right, 
to God, and then to you, my sweetest fathers and brothers, 
whom God has adorned with so many virtues. And as I have 
the confidence that some day I shall have far greater pleasure 
from the enjoyment of your company in life eternal, I now for- 
bear to converse with you any longer for the present. 

From Amboyna [May 1546]. 

The date of this last letter is not quite certain. It is given 
in the printed copies as May 1546, but the highest authority on 
the subject, F, Menchacha, thinks that it must have been sent 
from Amboyna a year later, after the return of Francis to that 
island from Ternate and the region of the Moor. 1.1 In that 

11 The internal evidence is contradictory ; and therefore by no means con- 
clusive either way. The chief reasons for postponing the date are, i. that no 
other letter exists written in 1547 (but this argument may cut both ways, as it 
would tend to show that Francis was out of the way of opportunities till he re- 
turned to Malacca) : 2. that the letter contains an account of the attempt made 
by his friends to prevent his going to the ' Isle of the Moor,' which attempt was 
made at Ternate after he had left Amboyna (but it is by no means certain that 
no attempt of the kind was made at Amboyna ; and he most certainly contem- 
plated going to ' Maurica" when he was there, and wrote about the dangers and 
his own apprehension of them to F. Paul ofCamerino from Amboyna) : 3. that 
he distinctly says (p. 376), that when the Spaniards sailed from Amboyna towards 
India, he set out with Joam d'Eyro in the contrary direction to Molucco (Ter- 

384 St. Francis Xavier. 

case, we may probably suppose that it was written at different 
titties, and finally sent off when Francis found himself again at 
Amboyna. If it was written, however, as seems to us more 
likely, before his voyage northwards from Amboyna to Ternate, 
it illustrates many of his characteristic traits of character : his 
diligence in gathering all possible information beforehand as to 
the places to which he was bound, his sanguine hopefulness as 
to the results of Apostolical labours, his zeal for the perishing 
souls of the poor heathen, and the like. In this case the dan- 
ger which he mentions, when the ship in which he sailed was 
so nearly aground in shoal water, must have occurred on the 
voyage from Malacca to Amboyna. The ending of the letter, 
where he speaks of having carefully put together the signatures 
of all his brethren, and carrying them on his person, together 
with the formula of his solemn vows, gives us another touching 
proof of his intense love for the Society, and for all those with 
whom he was united therein. 

In order to complete, as far as may be, Francis Xavier's 
own account of this period of his preaching, we shall place here 
the greater part of a letter which he wrote immediately after his 
return to India in January 1548. 

nate). This is the only peremptory argument, but it depends on the translation 
of a single word, lipeiiimus ought to have been wriii&n petimus (I am going 
to), the argument is without force, and it is worthy of remark that the words, 
ego cum Joanne Dura contrario cursu Moluccam fctiimus, are not strictly veri- 
fied, because Joam d'Eyro was at first left at Amboyna. On the other hand, all 
the internal notes of time favour the supposition that the date as printed is right. 
I. The expectation of the people of Amboyna that Giordano de Freytas would 
come and live among them, intra biennium, is expressed in the letter to Antonio 
Criminale and Joam Beira in the same way, proxijno anno a Novejnbri hujus 
anni 1546 : 2. the language about the ' Isles of the Moor' seems to imply that 
Francis had not yet gone there : 3, Francis speaks of his ordering the fathers 
to come to the Moluccas, in the present tense, venire jubco. But this order was 
given in 1546, and obeyed in 1547 : 4. the request, at the end, for prayers to help 
him in great dangers, agrees more with the prospect of a first voyage to Ter- 
nate and the Maurica, than with that of a return to Malacca and India. More- 
over, when Francis was in Amboyna in 1547, being on his way westward, he 
would not be so likely to dispatch his letter from that island, as he would have 
had to take it with him to Malacca. Nor is there any mention in it of an in- 
tention to return homewards ; whereas it is customary to him to speak of his 
immediate future. 

The Moluccas, 385 

(lv.) 7o the Society at Rome, 

May the grace and charity of our Lord Jesus Christ always 
help and favour us ! Amen. 

In the year of our Lord 1546 I wrote to you a long letter 
about the Molucca islands, which are situated about sixty leagues 
from Amboyna. In that isUnd of Amboyna, where the King 
of Portugal keeps up a garrison, a great number of Portuguese 
reside who frequent the Moluccas, which are exceedingly fer- 
tile in all sorts of spices. This is the only place where the 
clove grows, which we call commonly the girofle.^^ At Am- 
boyna, which contains seven Christian villages, I stayed three 
months, and during that time I baptized a great number of 
children, whooe salvation was in great danger from the want 
of any priest. The priest who had the charge of the mission 
died a long time ago. I had visited at leisure all the villages 
and baptized the children, when there arrived seven vessels, of 
which some were Spanish. These last came from New Spain, 
commonly called the West Indies, having been sent out by 
the Emperor Charles to discover new lands. They stayed at 
Amboyna about three months, and gave me plenty of occupa- 
tion. I had to preach on Sundays and feast days, to hear 
many confessions every day, to appease differences, and to 
visit the sick. It was quite that kind of work, that, having to 
do with an unholy and quarrelsome set of people, I had very 
little hope of gaining so much fruit in the way of peace as I did. 
I give endless thanks to God, Who was so wonderfully good in 
pouring peace into the hearts of men who, I may almost say, 
make it a matter of profession to be never at peace either with 
God or man. After three months the Spaniards sailed for Por- 
tuguese India, and I lost no time in passing over to the Mo- 
luccas, where I spent another three months preaching on feast 
days, hearing confessions continually, and teaching the Cate- 
chism every day to children and converts. On Sundays and 
feast days, in the afternoon, I gave the converts a full explana 
12 cariopliyilus, Lat, 


386 St. Francis Xavier, 

tion of the Apostles' Creed ; so that on these days I gave two 
instructions, one at the hour of mass to the Portuguese, the 
other in the afternoon to the converts. 

I have very good reason to thank God for the fruits which 
came of this work. The converts took up the practice of 
singing hymns of the praises of God with so much ardour, 
that the native boys in the street, the young girls and the 
women in the houses, the labourers in the fields, the fisher- 
men on the sea, instead of singing licentious and blasphemous 
songs, were always singing the elements of the Christian doc- 
trine. And as all the songs had been put in the language of the 
country, they were understood equally well by the newly made 
Christians and the heathen. And, by the favour of God, the 
Portuguese in the country and the rest of the inhabitants, 
both Christian and heathen, took such an affection for me that 
I found favour in their eyes.^^ I passed from thence into the 
islands that are called * of the Moor,' about sixty leagues from 
Molucco. There were here many Christian villages unat- 
tended to for a length of time, both on account of their great 
distance from India, and because the natives had put to death 
the only priest who was among them. In these islands I 
baptized a great number of children, and in the space of three 
months, for I remained that length of time, I visited all the 
Christian villages, and made them devoted to Christ and to 
myself. All these isles are full of dangers, on account of the 
feuds which rage among the inhabitants and their civil wars ; 
the race is barbarous, totally ignorant of letters, devoid of 
any written monuments of the past, and without any notions 
of reading or writing. It is their practice to take away the 
lives of any whom they hate by poison, and in this way a great 
many are killed. The soil is rugged and destitute of pro- 
ductions which support life. There is no corn nor wine ; the 
natives scarcely know what flesh meat is ; they have no herds 
nor flocks, nothing but a few swine, which are rather objects 
of curiosity than food. Wild boars abound; good water is 
very rare; rice is plentiful; there are also trees in great 

13 ut itivenerim graiiatn in octdis eor7iJ77. (Orig.) 

The Moluccas. 387 

numbers from which they get a kind of bread and of wine, 
and others out of the woven bark of which the clothing which 
they all use is made. I have written all this to you, my 
dearest brothers, that you may know how much these islands 
overflow with heavenly joys. All these dangers and discom- 
forts, when borne for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, are 
treasuries filled full with heavenly consolations, so much so that 
one might think these islands were just the places where in 
a few years one might lose one's eyesight from weeping so 
abundantly the sweetest tears of joy. Nowhere do I remember 
either to have been so flooded with so much of limpid and 
perpetual spiritual delight, or to have borne so lightly all 
fatigue and bodily trouble, though I was going about islands 
begirt with enemies, inhabited by not the most trustworthy 
friends, and entirely destitute of anything that could help in 
sickness, or could defend and preserve life when endangered. 
In short, it seems as if these isles should rather be called the 
Islands of Divine Hope than of the Moor. 

There is here a race of men, enemies to Christianity, called 
Javars. They believe that to kill any men they can get hold 
of is a sort of immortal life. And it often happens that when 
they have no strangers to kill, they kill their own wives and 
children. These Javars make great slaughter of the Christians. 
One of the islands is almost continually, throughout its length 
and breadth, shaken by earthquakes, and it sends up flames 
and ashes. The natives say that the violence of the subter- 
ranean fire is so great, that the strata of rocks on which a 
certain town is built are all on fire. What they say seems 
credible ; for it often happens that large redhot stones, as big 
as the largest trees, are hurled into the air, and when there is 
a very strong wind such a quantity of ashes is sent up from 
the cavities that the men and women who are at work in the 
country come home so covered with ashes that you can 
hardly see their eyes or nose or face. You would think they 
were rather demons than human beings. This is what the 
natives tell me, for I have not seen it myself; during the whole 
of my stay there were no tornadoes. I also heard from them 

388 St. Francis Xavier, 

that during these violent winds the ashes are carried up into 
the air in such quantities that numbers of wild boars are 
blinded and suffocated by them, and that after the storm they 
find them dead in the fields. 

They say, too, that during these tornadoes numbers of dead 
fish are found on the shores, killed in the same manner — the 
proof of this being that fishes who have drunk water in which 
ashes are sprinkled generally die. They asked me what it all 
meant. I told them this place was the abode of hell, into 
which all would be cast who worshipped idols. How severe 
the earthquakes are, you may judge from this — when I was 
saying mass on the feast of the Archangel St. Michael, the 
earth was so violently shaken that I was in great fear the altar 
itself would be upset. Perhaps St. Michael, by his heavenly 
power, was driving into the depths of hell all the wicked spirits 
of the country who were opposing the worship of the true God. 

After having visited all the Christian villages, I returned to 
Molucco,^"* where I again spent three months more in preaching 
twice on feast days, in the morning to the Portuguese, and in 
the afternoon to the converts ; hearing confessions every day, 
morning and evening, and teaching the Catechism besides. 
After having gone all through the Catechism, I explained on 
Sundays and feast days the articles of the Creed to the native 
Christians, taking one article day by day, and always speaking 
strongly against the worship of idols. On Wednesdays and 
Fridays I instructed the native wives of the Portuguese by 
themselves in the articles of the faith, the ten commandments, 
and the sacraments of confession and communion. 

It was then the season of Lent, so that many of them 
approached the holy Eucharist, who had never done so before. 
During the six months I stayed at Molucco, both the Portu- 
guese, their wives and children, and also the native Christians, 
made great progress in piety. After Lent I quitted Molucco 
and sailed towards Malacca, having received very great proofs of 
affection, not only from the Christians, but also from the heathen. 
I had no lack of work during the voyage. I met on a certain 

" i.e. Ternate. 

The Moluccas. 389 

island with four Portuguese vessels, and I stayed twenty days 
with their crews. I preached to them three times, heard many 
confessions, and brought many to peace and concord among 
themselves. When I left Molucco, to avoid the lamentations 
of my friends and of the neophytes at my departure, I went 
on board suddenly at night. But that: was not enough to 
keep my going away secret. In short, they caught me, and 
indeed this running away by night from the children whom I 
had begotten to Jesus Christ so affected me that I began greatly 
to iear lest my departure might have a bad effect on their sal- 
vation. So I enjoined them all to be diligent in carrying on 
the exercise of the Catechism in a certain church daily, and 
the converts to learn by heart a short explanation of the Creed, 
which I had given them. A pious priest, a very great friend of 
mine, took upon himself the charge of instructing them for two 
hours every day, and of speaking once a week to the native 
wives of the Portuguese on the articles of the faith, the sacra- 
ments of confession and the Eucharist. 

When I was at Malacca I estabHshed the custom that at 
the beginning of night the souls in Purgatory, and the souls 
of the living who are in a state of worldly sin, should be recom- 
mended to the prayers of the pious in all the streets. This 
practice not only encouraged the good, but threw terror into 
the wicked. The city appointed a man for the purpose, to 
go round the town,,with a lantern in one hand and a bell in 
the other, and calling out from time to time in a loud voice a 
strain of this sort, * Pray for the souls of the faithful Christians 
who are suffering in Purgatory;' and then, *Pray also for those 
who, lying under the burthen of mortal sin, take no pains to be 
delivered from it' 

The Mussulman king of Molucco is under the sovereignty 
of the King of Portugal, and thinks it an honour to be so. 
Whenever he names him, he calls him his Lord. He speaks 
Portuguese well. The Molucca region forms no part of the 
continent, but is entirely composed ot islands. All the prin- 
cipal of these are under the dominion of the Mussulmans. The 
king himself is prevented from becoming Christian less by his 

390 S^' Francis Xavier, 

Mahometan religion than by his passions and the habits of a 
licentious life. Indeed, he has nothing of the Mahometan 
about him, except that he was circumcised when a child, and 
has been married a hundred times, and besides his hundred 
wives he has innumerable concubines. 

The Mahometans in the Moluccas are very ignorant of the 
law of Mahomet. They have hardly any cacizes, and the few 
they have are very uninstructed and come from other countries. 
The king received me in the most friendly manner ; so much 
so that the lords of his court did not like it at all. He sought 
my friendship, holding out hopes that he might one day embrace 
the Christian religion ; he begged me not to keep at a distance 
from him because he professed Mahometanism, for he said Ma- 
hometans and Christians worshipped the same God, and a day 
would come when .both would adopt one and the same religion. 
Every time I went to see him, he seemed highly delighted with 
my company ; but I could never prevail upon him to become 
a Christian. All I got out of him was a promise from him 
that he would have one of his children baptized — he has a 
great number — on the understanding that this one becoming 
a Christian should have the sovereignty of the Mauric isles. 

In 1546, when I was setting out for Molucco, I wrote from 
Amboyna to our brothers who had just arrived from Portugal, 
that in the next year some of them should sail to Malacca by 
one of the ships which go thither yearly from India. They did 
this, and three of our Society, of whom two are priests, Joam 
Beira and Ribera, arrived most opportunely at Malacca just 
as I landed on my return from Molucco. We spent a month 
together to my very great delight. I have not a doubt that 
they are quite the persons to render the greatest service to 
religion in the Moluccas. They set out for these islands in 
August, and the passage takes about two months. While they 
were at Malacca I made them acquainted with the manners of 
the country, and, from my own past experience, I gave them 
instructions how to deal with the people there. They are so far 
from India that we can only have letters from them once a 
year. I have also told them to write to Rome every year about 

The Moluccas, 391 

the extension of the Christian rehgion in these countries, and 
the hopes that appear for the future, and they promised to do so. 

I stayed four whole months at Malacca, waiting for a fa- 
vourable season for the passage to India; the time was not. 
without its spiritual occupation; and, as I could not alone 
satisfy the wants of all, I had to hear the complaints of some ; 
but as their taking offence came from their repentance for sins, 
this did not afflict me, but rather gave me pleasure, as it 
was a proof of holy resolutions. I also spent much time in 
doing away with quarrels and enmities, which easily spring up 
amongst a fighting set like the Portuguese. After I had gone 
through the Catechism, I taught the children and the converts 
the explanation of the Creed in the common native tongue of 
the country, so that everybody might understand it. I had done 
the same in the Moluccas, in order that after their idolatrous 
superstition had been overthrown, I might lay firmly in their 
minds the foundations of the Christian religion. This instruc- 
tion can quite well be given in a year, if only twenty words are 
learned each day, so as to be easily committed to memory by 
ignorant converts. Meanwhile you must often repeat the his- 
tory of the coming of Christ, that it m.ay plant itself and take 
root in their hearts as well as the explanation. It is only by 
this means that the people come to know the truth, and to 
look with abhorrence on the fables and witcheries held in re- 
nown by all heathen, ancient and modern. 

I have diligently charged a certain priest here to supply my 
place, and to go through with them the same lessons in the 
forenoon. He has promised, and I hope by the favour of God 
that the work will hold on its course. When I left Malacca 
the principal inhabitants pressed me strongly to send them two 
of the Society to preach the Word of God to themselves, their 
wives, and the native Christians, and also instruct in my place 
their children, servants, and servant-girls in the Christian doc- 
trine. They asked it with so much earnestness, that I think we 
ought by all means to satisfy their pious request in every way 
in our power, especially coming as it does from persons who 
have deserved very well of our Society. 

392 St Francis Xavier, 

We break off this letter for the present at this point, as the 
latter portion of it has reference to the great design on Japan, 
which began to occupy the thoughts of Francis Xavier from 
the time of his return to Malacca. What has been quoted of 
this letter, put by the side of that which precedes it, contains 
the only general sketch which we possess from his own hand 
of his labours in the Moluccas. We now proceed to supple- 
ment the statements of these letters from other authorities, 
whose accuracy cannot fairly be called in question. It is well 
to premise, that there is nothing to surprize us in the incom- 
pleteness of the statements of Francis Xavier himself; that he 
should leave out a great deal that would tend to his own praise 
is only natural in a man of his deep humility and saintly in- 
stincts. That he should omit all mention of the many deplor- 
able proofs which he must have come across of the evil in- 
fluence of some Portuguese here, as in India, on the cause of 
religion, is to be accounted for in many ways, among which we 
may mention the consideration already spoken of, that he 
must have been fully aware, as he has phrased it in an earlier 
letter, that what he wrote would pass through many hands and 
be submitted to many eyes. He could write boldly and openly 
enough to King John of Portugal, but there was no need to 
fill the houses of the Society and the minds of the Society's 
friends with attacks upon particular governors or commandants. 
But beyond all this, we must remember, that unless Francis 
Xavier had kept a careful daily journal of the expeditions which 
he seems to have made from Amboyna, from Ternate, and other 
places where he lingered longest, it would have been a real 
eftbrt to him to recall all the islands wljich he had visited, 
and the particular circumstances connected with each visit. 
He speaks of going about from one to another, as if they were 
very numerous, and the letter which we have now before us 
— the only letter, as we think probable, which he wrote de- 
scribing the Moluccas after having been among them — was 
written many months after his return to Amboyna, and some 
months after he had reached Malacca. Again, there was 
probably considerable sameness about the character of the 

The Moluccas, . 393 

people he met with, their reception of him, and his efforts 
for their benefit, just as there must have been much same- 
ness about the more active portions of our Lord's public life, 
or as the characteristic features of any prolonged course of 
public elementary teaching in one place after another must 
necessarily be very much alike. The incidents which stand 
out in such a career are more novel to the people among whom 
the missioner, the apostolic preacher, or the wonderworking 
saint passes about, than to him, and their tongues are likely to 
be freer, as their minds are likely to be more pointedly struck, 
by just those doings or sayings which his own humility will 
conceal and easily forget. In this manner we account for the 
number of anecdotes of Francis Xavier, which undoubtedly be- 
long to this time, for which his own letters might seem hardly 
to leave room, unless all the circumstances of the case are duly 

We have already spoken of some of his doings in Amboyna. 
Amboyna, as a short glance at a good map will show the reader, 
has a great many islets and islands in its neighbourhood. 
Francis went to visit several of these, the exact position of 
which it is not possible for us to identify, at least without the 
aid of other than modern maps. He went about, we are told, 
in a caracora — a native vessel, we may suppose, smaller than 
the prau in which Mr. Wallace made his voyage from Macazar 
to the Aru Islands.^^ A little to the north of Amboyna lies the 
large island of Ceram, which, from the names of some of the 
towns in it, we may conjecture to be the Baranura which is said 
to have been visited by St. Francis, and to have been the 
scene of one of the playful wonders which sometimes are to 
be found in the lives of the Saints, as in Scripture itself. We 
have the anecdote given in the Relatio (from the Processes) in 
the precise and simple words of an eyewitness, Fausto Rod- 
riguez, who was an old man of eighty when he gave his evi- 
dence in the capital of the Philippines. They were sailing to 
Baranura when a sudden storm came on, and to appease it, 
Francis Xavier took from his neck a crucifix ('one finger long,' 

15 Malay Archipelago, ii. c. 28. 

394 ^^' Francis Xavier, 

Rodriguez says, so it was the small crucifix that he wore on 
his heart), and dipped it into the sea, leaning over the boat's 
side. It chanced that it slipped from his hand into the sea, 
which accident so greatly afflicted Xavier that he gave great 
signs of grief. On the morrow they reached Baranura, in which 
is the town of Tamalo (Tamilan), to which the crew were 
bound ; so the vessel was drawn to the shore and Xavier got 
out, and with one companion (Rodriguez himself) walked along 
the shore towards Tamalo. And when they had walked half a 
mile, and were now many miles away from where the crucifix 
had been lost, * behold a sea crab runs out of the sea on to the 
shore with the aforesaid crucifix, holding it in his claws on 
either side, upright and lifted up, and so ran to Xavier and 
stopped in his sight. And Xavier flung himself on his knees, 
and the crab waited until he had taken the crucifix from its 
claws, and then ran back again into the sea whence it had 
come. And Xavier kissed and embraced the crucifix, and 
crossing his arms on his breast, lay prostrate on the ground in 
prayer for half an hour, and his companion, who was by his 
side, did the same, thanking the Lord Jesus Christ for so 
strange a miracle.* 

Francis preached to the natives of Baranura, and after a 
week went on to another island (or city) which goes by the name 
of Rosalao, where his labours were entirely unfruitful, except 
in the conversion of a single convert, who afterwards became 
a soldier, and died from a wound received in battle with the 
name of Jesus in his mouth, as Francis Xavier had promised 
him should be the case.^^ In another little island called Ulate, 
also close to Amboyna, a great success awaited him, to com- 
pensate for the disappointment at Rosalao, which last place he 
had left solemnly shaking the dust off his shoes against it. 
Some enemies, it seems Mussulmans, were besieging the chief 
town, and the 'king,' or chief, was thinking of surrendering on 
account of the want of water. Francis passed through the 
besieging force, and promised him plenty of water if he would 

16 The Processes say that a number of Portuguese and natives gathered round 
to see him die, as the prophecy was well known. 

The Moluccas, 395 

allow him to raise a cross in honour of God. This was done 
in the presence of a great crowd, and then Francis knelt down 
and prayed, * and there was a great rain.' The people were 
baptized, and the enemy went off in despair. 

Francis Xavier now passed on to Ternate, which he calls 
* Molucum' in his letter to the Society at Rome. Here he spent 
the three months of the summer of 1546, arriving there, we 
may suppose, early in June. Religion was in a bad state at Ter- 
nate. It had suffered much from the tyranny and bad example 
of the Portuguese, who allowed themselves every kind of license. 
The Soldan or King of Ternate was a bigoted Mussulman, who 
had reason to resent the harsh treatment he had met with from 
the Portuguese Commandant, Giordano de Freytas, who had 
sent him in chains some time before to Goa, on a mere suspicion 
of disloyalty. Joam de Castro found him at Goa when he him- 
self entered on his governorship, and one of his first acts was 
to send him back with all honour to Ternate, condemning 
Freytas to pay all the costs and damage of his imprisonment, 
and appointing a new Commandant, Bernardino de Sousa y 
Tavora, instead of Freytas, who was called to Goa to give an 
account of himself. These acts of high justice were not uncom- 
mon in the Portuguese governors. Another King of the Mo- 
luccas, Tabarigio, — who is also described as King in Ternate, 
and seems to have been the elder brother of the other — had 
been in the same way sent to Goa a year or two before, and had 
been acquitted with all justice, but he had died a Christian at 
Goa before he could be restored, and he had left the Portuguese 
crown heir to his rights. The King of whom we are speaking 
— called Aeyro in the history — as St. Francis tells us, did not 
become a Christian, but he was friendly to the apostolical mis- 
sionary, and like Herod ' heard him gladly,' though his own 
passions kept him in a bondage from which he was unable to 
free himself. That Francis should have acquired so much 
influence over him as he did is one of the strongest proofs 
which could be given of the wonderful power of his holiness, 
and the ineffable sweetness and simplicity in which it was 

39^ St. Francis Xavier. 

We shall find that Francis Xavier's efforts at conversion 
were not so firuitless in the case of another royal personage in 
Ternate; but it is right to speak first of the influence which he 
exercised over the Portuguese and those who were already 
Christians. We find in all the lives of apostolic men a reflection 
of the various shades of success and failure in different places 
which are to be observed in the preaching of our Lord and of 
the Apostles. Meliapor had responded to the teaching of 
Francis better than Malacca, Ulate better than Rosalao. Ter- 
nate was a place where he had very great success. He went 
to work, as was his wont, with penance and prayer, constant 
preaching, hearing confessions, catechizing, setting the chil- 
dren to sing the Christian doctrine, waking up the streets at 
night with calls to prayer for the souls in Purgatory and for 
men in mortal sin, and the like. He soon changed the face 
of the whole Christian population : scandals w^ere removed, the 
sacraments frequented, feuds given up ; the Confraternities of 
Mercy and of the Blessed Sacrament got rich with the number 
of offerings added to their funds by persons who had made 
unjust gains and were not able to make restitution to those 
whom they had defrauded. They had been very poor before, 
and now they were better furnished with money for charitable 
and pious purposes than any other such confraternities in the 
Indies. Gentile converts flowed in in numbers as the Chris- 
tians became more worthy of the name which they bore, and a 
flourishing community of neophytes was formed, who were des- 
tined, not many years after this time, to show their constancy 
under great persecutions. 

The converts seem to have been made both from Maho- 
metanisrn and heathenism. There was one lord or chief of a 
village in the island who took the name of Francis, and was 
promised by the Saint that he should never abandon the faith. 
He stood firm, amid many strong temptations, when the time 
of persecution came. The most distinguished, however, of the 
converts was an ex-queen, Neachile, a daughter of the King of 
Tidor, and wife of a former King of Ternate. She was kept 
in close confinement by Aeyro, and she had suffered very much 

The Moluccas, 397 

in her family through the Portuguese, who had brought ruin 
upon as many as three of her sons, who had been successively 
heirs to the throne. She was a clever acute woman, hating 
Christians, and thought to be very learned in the Mahometan 
doctrine. Francis Xavier visited her, and found her ready with 
a number of argumentative difficulties, which it took him some 
time to remove. In the end she was baptized, taking the name 
of Isabella, and finished her days in practices of piety and 
penance, a great example of patience, humility, and resignation. 

The conversions at Ternate were probably helped on by 
some exercise of the preternatural power which ordinarily ac- 
companied the labours of Francis Xavier ; but we find but little 
mention of particular miracles. He had sailed from Amboyna 
in company with another vessel on board of which was a certain 
Joam Galvan, and this vessel had been separated from that in 
which Francis was by a storm. . Nothing was heard of Galvan, 
but his friends had not given him up when Francis, preaching 
in the church, suddenly recommended his soul to the prayers 
of the people. It turned out that the ship was lost, and Galvan 
drowned. But the standing miracle which seems to have broken 
down all opposition in Ternate was the heavenly character and 
charming sanctity of Francis himself, and we find evidence, 
both in his own direct statements and in the facts of the history, 
of the singular devoted affection with which he was commonly 
regarded. One part of this evidence lies in the earnest resist- 
ance made by his friends at Ternate, as well as at Amboyna, to 
his design of passing over to the * Isles of the Moor' of which 
we are now to speak. 

It seems as if St. Francis Xavier made it a rule to himself, 
to leave unvisited no neglected communities of native Chris- 
tians within reach of which he came. He was always ready to 
labour for the revival of faith and manners among Europeans 
settled in the islands across which he came ; and, again, he 
was ready and anxious, whenever opportunity presented itself, 
to preach to the heathen who had not yet received the word 
of God. But the congregations of natives who had been made 
Christians, especially those who had fallen back into ignorance 

39^ St, Francis Xavier. 

from want of priests or other such causes, may be said to have 
exercised an irresistible attraction over his fervent heart. We 
have seen how devotedly he laboured for the Paravas on the 
Comorin Coast, and we shall have to see hereafter how strong 
a hold they retained upon his affections. They had been the 
firstfruits of his apostolical zeal ; and whenever he heard of any 
nations in a position analogous to theirs, he seems to have 
deemed that it would be an abandonment of duty on his own 
part if he did not visit them and revive among them the reli- 
gion which was dying out from no fault of theirs. 

Early among the people of the Moluccas, the inhabitants 
of the Isles of the Moor,^? in large numbers, had received Chris- 

1*^ It has already been hinted that there is considerable difficulty in identify- 
ing the ' Isle or Isles of the Moor," though they are frequently mentioned in all 
the histories which relate to the affairs of the Moluccas. Lucena tells us that 
the name included several islands, and he mentions one called Batechina del 
Moro, which can be no other than Batchian. He also speaks of Morotoria, 
which may very well be Morty Island, to the north of Gilolo. The difficulty is in 
the distance from Molucco, or Ternate, which Francis puts in his letter (p. 386) at 
sixty leagues. Otherwise, we should say that Gilolo, or Almaheira, as it is pro- 
perly called, was the chief island of the Moor, and that Morty and perhaps Bat- 
chian was also included in the general designation. The distance would suit the 
northern part of Celebes, where we find the name of Tolo, a place frequently 
said in the histories to be in the ' Isles of the Moor.' The probable solution of 
the difficulty seems to be this. St. Francis Xavier wrote his first account of the 
Isle or Isles of the Moor when he was at Amboyna in 1546, and could only know 
about them what he was told. The name ' Maurica,' 'of the Moor,' is clearly 
a name by which a large tract of sea or land would be designated, rather than 
one particular island. Then the navigators of those days had no very accurate 
ideas of distance. The Moluccas, as we have seen, were supposed to be further 
east than they actually are. There are also frequent instances of peninsulas 
and high portions of land being set down as separate islands ; and, moreover, 
the whole of the Archipelago, including therein the Philippines as well as Japan, 
was but just emerging into the clear atmosphere of European knowledge. The 
most accurate account which exists of the Moluccas is to be found in the Dutch 
writer, Valentyn, who had been a ' minister' in Amboyna, Banda, and other 
islands. It is contained in his Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indieti (Dordrechdt and Am- 
sterdam, 1724), 5 vols. He gives a map of the Moluccas (vol. ii. part ii. p. 2), 
which seems to explain our difficulty. In this Gilolo is called Halmaheira, and 
the northeastern peninsula of the island is called Kust van Moro. Off it lies 
Morotay, or Morty, quite as far from Ternate as Ternate from Amboyna. But St. 
Francis says that the distance between the two last is 'sixty leagues.' Otherwise, 
Mr. Wallace's description of North Q€^(^&%[Ma lay Archipelago, i. c. 17) reminds 
us in many points of what St. Francis says of the natives of ' the Moor.' 

The Moluccas. 399 

tianity. One of their kings had become a convert ; but the 
tyranny of the Portuguese, which seems to have been exercised 
more recklessly in those distant islands than in India itself, 
alienated the minds of the natives, brought about the general 
combination against the foreigners, of which mention has al- 
ready been made, and Simon Vaz, one of the priests of the 
* Isles of the Moor,' was murdered by those among whom he 
was labouring, his companion, Francis Alvarez, escaping co- 
vered with wounds. This happened in 1535, more than ten 
years before the arrival of Francis Xavier at Tern ate. Since 
that time no priest had visited the islanders, and though there 
had been some apostacies — brought about, probably, by the 
influence of the native chiefs — the majority of the Christians 
remained such in name, though, from ignorance, in little 

If Gilolo be the Isle of the Moor, or if it were supposed to 
consist of more than one island, so as to form with Morty and 
a number of small islets the group called by that general name, 
it must have been frequently gazed upon by Francis Xavier 
from the town of Ternate. But he would not need to have 
his eyes continually upon an island of which he had heard 
much, and the case of whose people was already stirring his 
heart to some generous enterprize in their favour. He has 
told us in both the letters last quoted, of the strong efforts 
made by his Portuguese friends to dissuade him from, venturing 
on so inhospitable a soil, how he was threatened with certain 
death from the violence or treachery of the native^ ; and he 
has also intimated how his own nature shrank with fear from 
the certain danger which he seemed to be incurring. His 
language about the obscurity which comes over the meaning 
of the famous text about losing and finding life gives us a 
glimpse into his interior life, like that which is afforded after- 
wards by the words in which he speaks of the immense and 
ineffable consolations with which his soul was overwhelmed 
after he had made the venturesome passage, for which his 
friends, — like those of St. Paul when Agabus predicted his suf- 
ferings at Jerusalem, as Lucena says, — used so many efforts to 

400 *S/. Francis Xavier, 

frighten him.i^ We can hardly imagine that a heart so very 
quick, tender, and sympathetic as that of Francis Xavier can 
have been cold, phlegmatic, unimpressionable, when great dan- 
ger was presented to it. On the contrary, there appear to be 
frequent indications in his letter that, without being less brave 
than the ordinary crowd of good and upright men, he was by 
no means indifferent to the risks of life and death, and that his 
calm heroic courage came rather from grace than from nature- 
These considerations make his own account of the discussion 
more interesting than ever. We see a supernatural instinct, 
also, in his refusal to arm himself with antidotes against the 
poisons which were so much in use among the people to whom 
he was going : it was the same instinct which made David 
decline the armour of Saul. He would trust to God, but to 
nothing else. It is said that the Commandant of Ternate 
forbade any one to furnish him with a boat to cross to the 
dreaded island : but this difficulty seems to have been over- 
come by the firmness of Francis himself. 

When the ship in which he sailed to the dangerous island 
drew near the shore, it was seen that the people were ready to 
receive him with every mark of reverence and affection. The 
fame of the holy Father had reached even to those poor bar- 
barians, and after a time he soon made himself as dear to 
them as to the other populations among which he had preached. 
He followed his usual method, baptizing the children, cate- 
chizing, preaching, teaching the boys and girls songs of the 
Christian doctrine, visiting the sick, and the like. Once he is 
said to have been in danger as he was preaching to a band of 
savages by the side of a deep river, and they took offence at 
the freedom with which he upbraided their predominant vices, 
and began to cast stones at him. He thrust a huge beam or 
trunk of a tree that was lying by into the water and leapt upon 

^8 Lucena gives a long account of the attempt, and devotes a whole chapter 
to the reasons which Francis alleged in reply. It is quite in keeping with what 
was usual to the writers of his day, who seem sometimes to have put in 
speeches and arguments like ancient authors, where in modern times we should 
put a pictorial illustration. 

The Moluccas, 401 

it : an invisible hand guided him in safety to the other bank. 
Conversions became very numerous. The large city Tolo, of 
twenty-four thousand inhabitants, is said to have been entirely 
Christian when he left the island, and the number of small towns 
and hamlets where churches had been founded was very great. 
The island was volcanic, and subject to frequent earthquakes, 
and we have seen how Franr;is took occasion to instruct the 
natives concerning hell from the phenomena to which they 
were so accustomed. 

No words can express better than those of Francis himself 
the wonderful consolations with which his soul was visited at 
this time. Nowhere had he had greater interior joy, and the 
gift of.tears was so excessive in its sweetness and abundance 
that he might have lost his eyesight by perpetual weeping. He 
spent three months in this island or islands, which we may sup- 
pose to have been the September, October, and November of 
1546. The whole sea in that part is as it were sown with 
islands. At the end of the seventeenth century the ' King' of 
Ternate claimed more than eighty as under his rule. We may 
well imagine that Francis visited many of these islands, though 
we have no record of his presence in them. In the Isles of 
the Moor, we are told, he left the Christians as well provided 
as he could with the teaching and repeating of the Christian 
doctrine organized, but, as it would seem, with no priest among 
them. He had already, however, determined that a house of 
the Society must be founded in the Moluccas, and was about 
to send some of his religious brethren at once to take up the 
work which he had begun. When the three months of which 
he speaks were over, he returned to Ternate, where he was 
received with immense joy, and remained till the end of Lent 
in the following year. He has given us his own account of his 
ordinary occupations during this time, of his attempt to get 
away by night to avoid the pain of parting with so many who 
had become tenderly attached to him, and of the arrangements 
which he made for the continuance of the exercises and ser- 
vices to which he had accustomed them. 

We must most probably place at this time a remarkable 


40 2 St, Francis Xavier, 

incident, which is mentioned on the sworn testimony of a 
number of witnesses in the Processes, and was selected as spe- 
cially worthy of notice by the Roman theologians who drew up 
the RdatiOj to which reference has already been made. The 
city of Tolo, it seems, soon after its conversion to Christianit}^, 
was assailed by the Mussulman * King' of Gilolo, who, partly 
by persuasion and influence, partly by force, induced the in- 
habitants to throw off the kind of allegiance which bound them 
to the Portuguese, as well as their newly acquired religion. 
Some who stood firm were put to death, but the majority 
yielded : the churches and crosses were pulled down, and the 
Christian religion publicly insulted in every way. The news 
came to Ternate, the seat of the Portuguese Governor, while 
Francis was there, and he at once urged Bernardino de Sousa 
to revenge the insult offered alike to religion and to his sove- 
reign. The Relatio speaks of endeavours first made by Francis to 
bring the people to their senses by persuasion and prayer, and 
he may perhaps have still been in the island at the time, or 
may have gone over on purpose. An expedition was organized, 
consisting of only twenty Portuguese and about four hundred 
Ternatese. Francis promised them success, and went with 
them. The town is described as placed on a height, in a posi- 
tion extremely strong by nature, which had also been carefully 
fortified. Iron spikes had be^n placed in the only path by 
which access was practicable. Francis knelt down and prayed, 
and then the mountain close by began to send forth smoke, 
cinders, and stones, which it had not been known to do before 
that time; an earthquake accompanied the eruption, which 
cast down a part of the fortifications, as well as many houses. 
The inhabitants fled to the woods, and soon came to suppli- 
cate Francis for pardon, and were forgiven and reconciled on 
duly doing penance and rebuilding the church, which had been 
destroyed. In later years we find the Christians of these 
islands very bravely suffering persecution, many becoming 
martyrs for the faith.i^ 

^9 This incident of the ' victory' of Tolo, as it is called in some historians, 
i perfectly well authenticated by sworn testimony, collected in the Processes, 

The Moluccas. 403 

Francis remained at Ternate during the Lent of 1547, prac- 
tising severe austerities, as well as all his usual works of charity 
and zeal for souls. Ternate, as we have said, was one of his 
places of success and consolation, and he parted from its 
people with the greatest regret at Easter. He seems to have 
sailed to Amboyna, but we may well suppose that he stopped 
here and there on the way. Soon after Easter, however, he 
was there, to find four Portuguese ships full of mariners and 

and is mentioned in the Bull of the Canonization of St. Francis, as well as in 
the Relatio of the theologians. But it is placed at a different time from this by 
Bartoli, and Massei who always follows Bartoli. Bartoli puts it in 1552, the 
year of the death of Francis Xavier, at a time when it is indisputable that Fran- 
cis was on his last voyage — that to the coast of China, In order to make this 
date agree with the history, he is obliged to suppose that Francis appeared mi- 
raculously at Ternate, where the expedition was fitted out, and that his presence 
during the whole time was either visionary, or owing to what is called ' biloca- 
tion.' There are certainly many instances of ' bilocation' in the lives of the 
Saints, and there is at least one well authenticated occasion in that of Francis 
Xavier, when he seemed to be with a party of sailors in a small boat, who had 
lost sight of the ship to which they belonged, and were lost for three days, while 
it is certain that he never left the ship. But in the present case there seems no 
need for any such hypothesis as that suggested by Bartoli and Massei, as the 
incident can very well have taken place at the time when Francis was in the 
Moluccas. There was certainly an attack on Tolo by the Portuguese forces in 
1552 (though Tolo is not named in the annalists), and it was under the command 
of Bernardino de Sousa, who was also Governor of Ternate at the time of St. 
Francis' preaching in the island of ' the Moor.' Faria y Sousa gives an account 
of the expedition and of its success, which says nothing about an eruption or an 
earthquake, and in which the city is said to have surrendered after a siege, for 
want of water. The numbers of the expedition are also altogether different. The 
whole army consisted of 5000 men, of whom 180 were Portuguese. Bartoli was 
probably led into error by the name of Bernardino de Sousa ; and this officer, 
we are expressly told, returned to Ternate in 1552 after a short interval, during 
which there was another governor. Lucena and Turselline place the incident 
at the present point of the life of Francis Xavier. The Relatio and the Bull of 
Canonization say nothing precisely as to its date, but the language of the Re- 
latio is in favour of that which we have adopted. There is no mention either 
there or in the Bull of any bilocation, or of any visionary appearance. The ac- 
count in Faria y Sousa of the later siege of Tolo is plain and straightforward 
enough. He is a writer who looks on everything from a ' secular' point of view, 
but he would certainly have mentioned the presence of Francis Xavier, if he had 
heard of it, as he is fond of introducing him when he can, as we shall see in the 
next chapter. His book, though tiresome in its dryness and curtness, is founded 
on a very large number of excellent authorities. The passage to which we refer 
in this note is to be found mAsia Poriuguesa, t. ii. p. 2, c. 9. 

404 Si. Francis Xavien 

soldiers, whose spiritual needs had to be attended to, and he 
had also to visit the Christian communities in the island. 

He was at Malacca in July, and as the direct voyage be- 
tween Malacca and Amboyna would take about six weeks, he 
would have been able to visit a few islands on his way west- 
ward, and it is perhaps at this time that we must place his short 
stay at Macazar itself, the conversions at which had been the 
original occasion of his leaving India for the further East. It 
is a characteristic of the lives of the Saints, that they so often 
seem to themselves to be called in a certain direction for a 
particular worl^, which, as it turns out, they are not to do, while 
another, which they had no thought of, takes its place. The 
fruits of Francis Xavier's expedition to the Moluccas were very 
great in themselves, and they led him on to further enterprizes 
for the glory of God. He had now laid the foundations in 
these islands on which others could build, and the history of 
Christianity in that part of the world, where the new Christians 
were soon put to the test by persecution, shows how solid those 
foundations were. He now hastened westwards, that he might 
look after the affairs of the Society in India itself, send mis- 
sionaries to the Moluccas, and prepare the way for the estab- 
lishment of a house of the Society, to be the centre of evan- 
gelical work in that teeming world of souls made after the 
image of God. There is evidence in the Processes that he 
visited Macazar at some time, and that he there baptized many 
converts, among whom were a king and his son. The Bull 
of Canonization mentions also several nations to whom he 
preached, among them the people of Java and Mindanao. The 
first mentioned island lay, like Macazar itself, on the direct 
route between Malacca and Amboyna. Mindanao is the most 
southern of the larger Philippines, and Francis may have gone 
in that direction while he was at Ternate. The number of 
places which claim his presence, and where there is good evi- 
dence that he preached and converted unbelievers, is alto- 
gether so great, that nothing short of the most marvellous ac- 
tivity on his part could have enabled him even to accomplish 
the distance from spot to spot within the intervals of time 
which are set down in his own letters. 


Four more Months in Malacca, 

Francis Xavier arrived at Malacca, on his return from the 
Moluccas to India, in the middle of July 1547. He had been 
absent a year and a half, and could have had but very scanty 
intercourse with the Christian world which he had left behind 
him during that space of time. He was overjoyed on arriving 
at Malacca to find there three members of the Society — the 
first recruits whom he had seen face to face since he left Eu- 
rope more than six years before. They were men entirely 
unknown to him, Joam Beira, the former canon of Corufia, 
whom we have already mentioned, Nunez Ribeiro, a Portu- 
guese priest, of whose antecedents we are told nothing, and a 
student, Nicolo Nunez, not yet a priest. Francis had ordered 
Father Mancias to accompany Father Beira, but his former 
companion, with whose name and character we have become 
familiar, felt his courage fail him, and he preferred to remain 
where he was, among the Christians of the Comorin Coast. 
This disobedience cost him his dismissal from the Society by 
Francis Xavier. He seems to have remained in India, and 
probably laboured on as a secular priest.^ 

The three whom Francis found waiting for him at Malacca 
brought also good news concerning further supplies of Chris- 
tian labourers from Europe : seven more of the Society, four of 
whom were priests, had arrived in the autumn of 1546 at Goa, 
and were already distributed along the Fishery Coast and in 
Travancore. There was news also from Europe, a bundle of 
letters we cannot doubt, which gave Francis intense pleasure 
after his long exile from the comparative nearness to home of 

1 He was one of the witnesses whose depositions are collected in the Pro- 
cesses, and died very piously at Cochin in 1565. (L^on Pag^s.) 

Ao6 St. Francis Xavier, 

India and Cape Comorin. To make up for the silence of 
more than a whole year, he had probably two collections of 
letters to read about this time ; for the Fathers would have 
brought the correspondence of 1546, and it is probable that 
that of 1547 reached him before he left Malacca. There was 
a great deal for him to hear about the progress of the Society, 
especially in Spain and Portugal. He would be told of Jer- 
ome Nadal's tardy but yet complete victory over the obstacles 
which had so long hindered him from entering religion, and of 
many other things which would have rejoiced his heart. Lay- 
nez and Salmeron had distinguished themselves equally for 
learning and for religious modesty at the revived Council of 
Trent. St. Ignatius had healed a difference between John King 
of Portugal and the Pope, and Le Jay, by the exertions of the " 
same prudent father of the Society, had escaped a bishopric, 
which Ferdinand the King of the Romans had determined to 
force upon him. The Duke of Gandia, afterwards St. Francis 
Borgia, had procured from the Holy Father a solemn approba- 
tion of the book of the Spiritual Exercises^ and had secretly 
promised to enter the Society himself as soon as he could rid 
himself of the multitude of secular business which his great 
position in the world forced upon his attention. But the piece 
of news which must have touched most tenderly the heart of 
Francis was that Peter Favre was dead. He had been sent 
to Spain for a certain time, and when the time was over — 
though he had already had a fever at Barcelona before embark- 
ing — he hastened to Rome. He had been asked for by John 
HI. to go as Nuncio to Ethiopia, where there were some hopes, 
as has already been said, of bringing the Emperor back to 
Catholicity, and at the same time the Pope had asked that a 
third theologian of the Society might be sent to the Council 
of Trent, and St. Ignatius had intended that Favre should 
go. But Rome is often fatal, even to men of robust health, if 
they enter it in the dogdays. It was near the end of July 
v;hen Favre arrived, and Orlandini tells us that Ignatius held 
a consultation of some fathers as to the prudence of allowing 
him to enter, and that he was overruled by them to permit 

Four more Months iii Malacca. 4c 7 

this, again